Texting & driving
They can be seen down every road in Rhode Island, endangering the lives of those around them.
No, not potholes. People who are texting and driving.
It is amazing with all of the innovations that have been made to vehicles over the past century, a task that has nothing to do with driving has suddenly made it perilous to share the road.
In 1953, two patents were issued for a device described as a “safety cushion assembly for automotive vehicles,” according to Consumer Affairs. Mechanical engineer Allen K. Breed brought the air bag into existence 15 years later, and it was first featured in cars during the early 1970s.
The three-point seatbelt was invented in 1959 by Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin, which has saved millions of lives since its inception.
These two inventions are commonplace in cars these days, but people take them for granted. Sure, they remember to fasten their seatbelt, adjust the rearview mirror and check the gas tank, but all of these menial tasks are for naught if their eyes are locked on their phones rather than the highway.
It is not essential to text and drive. There is no text worth sending that is worth taking the lives of motorists on any side. Vehicles are multi-ton machines that require people’s undivided attention to steer. It’s a miracle that some are allowed to pilot them, but a quick glance as you attempt to make a lane change reveals a driver casually looking down.
It is not worth it. The Knowledge Center estimates that drivers are distracted for five seconds while texting, which at 55 miles per hour is “the equivalent of traveling the length of a football field while blindfolded.” More than 3,000 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in “distraction-affected” accidents in 2014 alone.
It is a cross-generational problem, as well. Also according to the Knowledge Center, citing data from 2011, 31 percent of drivers aged 18-64 years old had read or sent texts or emails while driving over the last month of the study.
Texting has only become more accessible since, and the problem has only become more pervasive.
Driving the length of a football field unaware of your surroundings isn’t worth a text about what time you should meet your friends at the movies. It is not worth finding out what is for dinner. It is not worth taking someone’s life and/or your own.
Stop texting and driving before it stops you.