POOR Choices

Emily Hand H


The struggle is real, folks.  How many of us would leave our cell phone at home and not turn around to retrieve it?  We feel that we need to be available 24/7 in case a friend needs us, the boyfriend calls, we get stuck in a traffic jam, or the worried parents are looking for us.  How else can we track our social media activity, take a quick pic, or video an emergency situation?  We tell ourselves that it is not an addiction, but cell phones have become as important as walking out the door wearing pants!  It has become impossible that life will continue as normal if we don’t immediately respond to a call, text, or social media post. I completed the driver’s education course, watched the state-mandated “don’t text and drive” videos, and have the strictest parents this side of the Mississippi River.  However, none of that would keep me from picking up my phone when that notification sounds.  My social life is important!  I also know that I am an excellent multi-tasker and quite capable of driving while briefly responding to a quick text or two. However, I can’t recall the last time I texted while driving, because I never have.  Not because I have superhuman willpower to overcome the addiction of my cell phone or because I am scared of getting caught, but I don’t text and drive because I cannot reach my phone.  My mobile phone is safely zipped inside my bag completely out of my reach in the back of the vehicle.  My theory is that the temptation is too great to leave whatever might tempt me in arms reach, so I simply put it in the back. In all seriousness, I understand the dangers caused by texting and driving. For instance, the consequences of losing my license, being in an accident, or injuring myself or others.  However, I also realize the addiction and impulsiveness of my response when my phone rings or notifies me of a text. Overall, this willpower over my phone not only is keeping me and others safe, but also forcing me to become disciplined and responsible. So, would it be difficult for me to stop texting and driving?  Could I stop texting and driving completely? I don’t know the answer to that question because I have not put myself in that position.  I don’t advocate that we remove our cell phones completely.  However, I propose that we start a “Phone Out Of Reach (POOR)” choices campaign.  Whether you are a beginner driver, college student, or an experienced adult, let’s realize that we all make poor decisions in the car sometimes.  Through the POOR choices campaign, we can eliminate the temptation of texting and driving, by requiring everyone to place their phones out of arms reach before they can start the car. Overall, one’s POOR choice could save lives and make the road a safer place for everyone.


As one who has suffered from loss of loved ones due to distracted driving, this scholarship essay spoke dear to my heart. Hopefully, my idea will spark an interest to put our poor decisions to an end.