Yesterday, my boyfriend and I went to get a pizza. He drove, because I hate driving. From his apartment, it takes about five minutes to get to the pizza place. It’s a straight shot. Turn out of the parking lot, drive, turn into the pizza lot. The end. It’s so easy. And it should’ve been a happy drive, because I got pizza at the end. But it wasn’t. Do you know why? Because in the five minutes that it took us to get to the pizza place and back, I saw five drivers staring at their phones instead of looking at the road.
Five drivers. In five minutes.
Behavior like that infuriates me. By this point, we have all heard the statistics. In case you haven’t, here’s a rundown:
- Texting while driving makes you 23x more likely to crash,
- slows your brake reaction speed by 18%,
- causes 1.6 million accidents a year,
- and is the cause of 11 teen deaths every day. Source
These are ridiculous numbers. This stuff shouldn’t be happening. It’s really not that hard to not use your phone while you’re driving. And I know most of us have seen these statistics and messages at one point or another. So why the crap are we still doing it?
- I need everyone to see that I’m driving fast. Live large! A lot of people I know Snapchat while they drive so they can put up the miles per hour filter, as if we’re all going to be so impressed that you’re going 80 in the left lane. Congratulations, friend, all you’ve done is give me road rage from my living room and also endangered everyone on the road around you, including yourself.
- My fave song came on the radio and you have to listen to me sing along. #totalfan Again, this is a common Snapchat thing. Even if your viewers share your music taste, which they probably don’t, if they wanted to hear the song they’d just pull it up on Spotify, where they don’t have to listen to your (probably terrible) voiceover. Not only is this dangerous, it’s dumb.
- I’m texting a romance interest and I have to reply now because if I wait too long they’ll think I’m not interested! No, they won’t. They should think more highly of you for practicing safe driving. And if they don’t, well, you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
- I’m a good driver; I can use my phone while driving and be fine. I’m still paying attention to the road. Maybe, but not enough attention. Your brain is not wired to do two things at once. Sorry. See brake reaction time stat above.
- I’m bored and I’m tired of just looking at the road. Sucks.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to die anytime soon. And I don’t want to be the cause of anyone’s death, either. I think most people agree with me on that. So I honestly don’t understand why people think this is still okay. It’s not okay. It’s stupid. You can be the greatest person I’ve ever met, but if I catch you using your phone while you drive, my respect for you will plummet. And while I know my opinion of you means nothing, the fact that you’re more likely to harm another person by texting while driving definitely should.
I’m really not trying to sound all self-righteous here (I know it sounds like I am). (Okay, maybe I am a little.) But really, in all honesty, I am just genuinely baffled by the fact that texting and driving is known to be one of the most dangerous things you can ever do, and yet people still do it.
Y’all, it’s not that hard to just wait. I know it’s tempting. I know think you’re a good enough driver. I know there might be no one else on the road right now. But please, for the love of God, just stop.