Texting, just one of many distractions

Editorial Staff

With an estimated 1.6 million crashes due to texting, it’s shocking to think that people still send messages while driving. But we do. And while the all too common crashes are incredibly tragic, it doesn’t seem like that tragedy is enough to dissuade drivers from texting.

Texting while driving is plain and simply a blatant disregard for the safety of other drivers. A study performed by Virginia Tech’s Transportation Institute found that messaging while behind the wheel leads to crashes 23.2 times more often than drivers that are focused on the road.

But nearly everyone still disobeys anti-texting laws, some while on the highway, others while at a stoplight. And why? Because it will only take a second. Because Timmy really needs to know that it’ll only take 10 minutes to get there. Because only other people get in crashes while texting. Because Emily needs to know that cheese pizza is so much better than pepperoni.

The problem with these excuses is that none of them make the action any less dangerous or illegal. And making the exception for one case always leads to more exceptions and eventually, texting while driving becomes acceptable.

These exceptions are why Minnesota needs harsher laws against distractions like texting. Currently, using a GPS, finding a song on an iPod, and talking on the phone while driving are acceptable. But a GPS needs the driver’s focus in order to punch in the address, an iPod has a tiny screen that steals the driver’s attention, and gossiping requires fine attention to detail. How are any of those different from texting?

We’re the multitasking generation; we jam out to Ke$ha while doing homework, skype while chatting on Facebook, and even chat over google docs while in class. Driving does not need to be another task we complete with only half of our focus.

Waiting ten minutes to respond to a text will not destroy the bond between two friends, but accidentally hitting someone while sending that text might destroy a life.