OUR VIEW: Stash the electronics when you’re driving
An Editorial Opinion
Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 13:03
We at The Statesman find it incredibly silly that conversations encouraging people — especially university students — to put down the phone when they’re driving still need to take place.
As if Taylor Sauer’s death in 2012 wasn’t tragic enough, the chilling irony of her last words is enough to make any cell phone addict think twice about checking that notification.
“I can’t discuss this matter now,” Sauer wrote to a friend. “Driving and Facebooking isn’t safe.”
She died doing the very thing she proclaimed dangerous.
We all know driving with a cell phone can be deadly, whether texting, Facebooking, tweeting or even looking at the map to see which exit is on our assigned travel route. And yet, most people continue the dangerous behavior despite multiple warnings.
No matter how comfortable people may feel about multitasking in the car, every task adds to the likelihood of an accident.
The big debate used to be whether or not people should be legally allowed to talk phone while driving. Now, it seems like using the primary purpose of a cell phone is the safe alternative to texting.
It amazes us at The Statesman how many people feel the risk of severe disfigurement and death outweighs the opportunity to send 160 characters to their BFFs.
The real issue is that people don’t listen to warnings and think “Oh, that would never happen to me,” which must be true or there would be infinitely more traffic accidents caused by inappropriate cell phone use.
To be frank, telling people to not text and drive is like warning someone not to step on a rattlesnake, poke a grizzly bear with a short stick or ride a Razor scooter down 8th East.
It’s also a lot like warning smokers of health risks connected with smoking — OK, maybe without addiction factored in.
The point is, people don’t listen to warnings, but you the reader can buck that trend.
Think of the people you would leave behind if you suffered an accident like the one that killed Sauer a little more than one year ago. Think of your family standing around a casket that had to be closed because what was left of your face was too badly mangled that no one could recognize it.
Think of the other people you might injure. Imagine someone else’s families around that casket. Think of how you would apologize to them for the pain you caused.
Do yourself a favor: Next time you want to check your phone while driving, hand it over to a passenger or ignore it until you arrive at your destination or can pull off the road.
If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for the people you might kill with the 3,000-pound force of destruction you’re riding in.