Is a text worth a life?

Is distracted driving okay? How common is distracted driving? On Wednesday, Jan. 24, a group of sophomores and seniors attended the annual Distracted Driving Summit in downtown Phoenix next to the capitol building. On that day they realized that the disasters of distracted driving are a real problem.

In Arizona, one person is killed in a motor vehicle crash every 9.11 hours according to the 2016 and ADOT crash statistics. During the summit, the students got to observe pictures of actual victims that died from a distracted driving incident.

Sophomore Ian Mason was one of the students that went to the event and described what he learned on that day.

“It taught me a lot on distracted driving and we got to honor a few of the many that lost their lives to distracted driving,” Mason said.

Sophomore Deshawn Newman realized that this is a serious problem for many people.

“Distracted driving doesn’t discriminate. It can affect anybody at any time,” Newman said.

The repercussions of these horrific accidents don’t just affect the people involved in the accident, but also their families. Principal Chris McComb, one of the school representatives on the trip learned that.

“Arizona is one of the two states that does not have legislation that addresses distracted driving,” McComb said.

Being at the Distracted Driving Summit really makes you think. It makes you reflect on yourself and how you drive on the road. That if it was you driving, would you risk your life or possibly someone else’s life just to answer a text, a phone call or even a snapchat.

Mason shared a shocking statistic about driving at a fast speed.

“If you’re driving at 45 miles per hour, in five seconds you go the approximate length of a football field,” Mason said.

Chance Raymond, an instructional aid, and another one of the school supervisors that was on the trip explained that anytime your mind is not a 100 percent on the road, you create a possibility of an accident.

“Just because you’re not the one that is distracted does not mean that you are not the ONLY one effected and vice versa,” Raymond said.

What the students learned from the Distracted Driving Summit was that distracted driving is a serious issue we face in the world today, especially with all the access we have to technology. With that texting and driving or answering a phone while driving can have very serious, very fatal consequences.

Just think, the next time you’re in a car and you’re driving there are consequences of picking up your phone when you answer either a call or a text. Is it worth your life or that of another’s?

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