Save your “lol” after the drive: texting behind the wheel’s a serious problem

When someone says to me, “How do you feel about texting and driving?” I always think to myself, “Do you really want your last words to be ‘Lol k?’”

Of course you don’t, because that’s just the most generic, meaningless text on the planet. There’s so many better ways to go if you ask me.

But in all seriousness, deaths due to texting and driving are an increasing problem in our world. New York State residents can expect a minimum fine of $50 for a first offense. By the third offense, that fine can increase to $400.

I’ve never felt the need to text and drive. I’m that friend who says, “there in five minutes,” when in all actuality, I’m in the bathroom blow-drying my hair and haven’t even decided on an outfit. My friends just always assume I’m going to be late. There’s no need for me to frantically be texting everyone about something they obviously already know.

I don’t think responding to a text message from any of my friends about, “Omg. I saw Ryan at the mall tonight. Omg. What was he doing here,” is worth crashing my little Hyundai Accent for either.

And as tempting as it sounds to text back “Matt from the bar last night,” with a “U R funny (insert flirty emoticon),” I think I’ll just keep my phone in my purse, where it belongs.

I don’t feel there’s anything important enough that can’t wait until you get to your destination. Say something were to arise, there’s this amazing thing called, “pulling over and stopping the car.” If I’m not mistaken, I think most roads generally have sides on them.

I’m not completely innocent. I’m sure I’ve sent the occasional text while driving. Most people have. But it’s the people who do so constantly and it becomes an art form for them that concern me.

I have friends who literally will text, drive, screw around with their iPods, and talk to me, for 20 minutes consecutively. And I’m just as much at fault because I allow them. I think as a society, it’s messed up that we let each other do stupid things that could potentially kill us.

According to an article from the Troy Record, more than a decade ago, 1500 people were being killed on the roads of New York State annually. Since the Empire State Law Enforcement Traffic Safety Conference was created, it has built collaborative solidarity for traffic safety enforcement throughout the state, and 350 less deaths have occurred yearly as a result of its efforts.

“Those aren’t just numbers,” said state police’s assistant deputy superintendent George Beach. “They represent funerals that never happened.”

The sad truth is, people are losing their lives, especially a lot of young people, all because the “Lol k” couldn’t wait until they got to their destinations.

That’s why I think the state’s new law set for this upcoming November for new drivers is actually a good idea.

According to an article from Newsday, beginning Nov. 1, young and new drivers found texting while driving will have their licenses suspended for 120 days on the first offense. A second offense will lead to a year-long suspension.

I don’t know any young person in this world who would prefer to be dropped off in their mom’s mini-van than their own car for four months, let alone a year.

If anything kids, let’s leave the texting for where it should belong, in class. Kidding, to all my professors that I’ve had in my career here at Buffalo State. But honestly, think about it — no one ever died from texting in class.

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