We have all done this. Get in the car after class, start to drive off, and your phone buzzes a couple times. You had started a conversation with your buddy across the classroom saying how boring the class is and how you guys should link up later on. Excited about executing these plans, you pick up your phone and start to respond back.
A lot of us would like to think that we are great multi-taskers. We pride ourselves on the ability to listen to our professors, text our friends, update our Facebook status, read all the enticing news on Yahoo! news and still pass our classes.
But let’s take a deeper look at this for one second. We use these multi-tasking abilities while in a safe environment and in the comfort of a still situation. So why would we take these same risks while you or your friend are handling a two ton vehicle and when other drivers have seemingly left their head somewhere else. The importance of making this quick response has become more important than focusing on the road itself.
Texting and driving has become a serious issue in the past couple of years. Texting and driving enforcement has been buckling down in 30 states so far. This enforcement includes the ability for the cop to first pull you to the side of the road, and write you a $50 to $200 ticket, and possibly charge you with a misdemeanor.
We risk so much in the short amount of time it takes to respond to a text. You look down; eyes off the road and the slightest change of pace can leave you in danger. This may be something as small as a small object that will pop one of your tires to hitting another car, or even another human being.
“I don’t see it’s necessary to respond to the person right away, especially if I’m driving,” said sophomore Nolan Monsibay. “It’s not worth getting in an accident over.”
It takes a couple seconds to look at a text and respond, but it takes even less to put the phone in your armrest or some sort of compartment in your car.
“I only find it important to respond to a text quickly if it affects what I am doing currently, like a change in location for a meeting,” said senior Alexis Molina. “Also, if a family member was in need, then I would without a doubt text back.”
Phone companies have come out with new ways for people to be able to respond to texts hands-free, either through features built -in or through the apps you can download.
Using the iPhone and other smart phones allows you to press a button and verbally tell your phone what to type in and then send it without having to look down and type at all.
Car companies are still behind in trying to accommodate the new needs of drivers today. In certain luxury cars, like the newest Mercedes series, they are making the necessary changes so that drivers can communicate with their phone hands free and with a push of the button on their wheel. But other companies are failing to follow suit.
“I feel like, if they built in a speech to text features, I think that would help,” said junior Oren Williams. “Like through blue tooth or the nav system. I’d feel like it would be easier to text and drive. It’s such an epidemic now that they should have made something already.”
This is not 2005 anymore. Back when we had the Blackberry and the Sidekick we were able to text in class and look at the teacher, having confidence in our fingers knowing where each key was and being able to complete a text easily.
With all the phones being touch screen now and auto correct misreading our attempts at short hand texting, it has become progressively tougher to text and handle other things.
We want to be polite and respond right away, but honestly it’s not worth it when you’re driving. Your friends will understand later. The earth won’t stop spinning. And if your boyfriend or girlfriend gets pissed at you for being safe, then they are probably worth ditching. Put down the phone and focus on the road. Most people can barely walk and text as it is.
Published Oct. 31, 2012