If it was you
You’re 18 years old, you just got your first car, your license, and you know the risks about drinking and driving. You’re about to graduate, your school has had many assemblies on the risk of being under the influence when you’re behind the wheel. Not that you haven’t taken them seriously, you just never thought it would happen to you. You’re responsible, a well-rounded student, and your whole life is ahead of you. You’re 19, first year in college, and you are driving your friends around on a late night. Your parents text you asking when you’re going to get home, and you acknowledge the fact that you’re driving. You decide to not text him back. Then, you drop off your friends, and go home. You’re 20 years old now, it’s your birthday, and your friend calls you while you’re on the highway. lucky for you, it goes straight to voicemail, “the person you’re trying to reach is currently driving right now, they will call you back at a later time.” You are on your way to a party and you know fully well you are not drinking or smoking. You have decided you’re going to be completely safe and the designated driver for all your friends. You go home, get ready, and say goodbye to your parents, you’re ready to celebrate. You go to the party, and have a wonderful time, like you told yourself you did not drink or smoke anything and have told every single one of your friends you’re going to drive them home safe. You get in the car and you put your phone right next to you turn on the GPS. You’re unfamiliar where you’re going, and you see a text from your parents you decide to ignore it again, “they won’t get mad” you tell yourself, but then they text you again. Now you are starting to think it’s really urgent. So you decide to reply, you look down take your phone out of the cup holder and click on the message. -Mom- “i’m sorry sweetheart…” -Message two- “I forgot to tell you happy birthday before you left.” You laugh to yourself, thinking this is “typical mom”, always overreacting to things that don’t really matter. You start typing back, “you know you could’ve told me this when I got home”… I love… you never got to send that last text. While you were roaming down an unfamiliar street, taking your eyes off of the road for what seem to be only two seconds, was actually at least 15. You veered off the road, your friends in the backseat are aware of what’s going on they buckle their seat belts. Your car flips, and your friend in passenger seat is thrown through the windshield. But of course you didn’t think this was gonna happen to you, right? You were typically safe driver, you weren’t under the influence at all. And yet you found yourself tumbling through trees, the rocks crashing through the windows. All because you decided to look at your phone, for what seemed to be only two seconds, yet those two seconds costed lives, not only yours, but those who trusted you. Ironically, all you could think, was “Happy Birthday, sweetheart.”
I believe that people need to fully understand by putting themselves in the shoes of those who decide to text and drive. From what I have seen those who have texted and drove at the same time, know the risk but believe they are the exception.