By MaKayla Taylor –
McKayla Taylor is a junior at North Adams High School. Here life has been directly affected by “texting and driving” and for one of her classes during the past school year, she wrote the following essay:
One technology that had a negative impact on my life was the cell phone. If it wasn’t for this device, my sister would still be alive and I wouldn’t have to mourn her loss.
On Sept. 19, 2007, my sister was driving from the Seaman Fall Festival when she got a text message on her phone. She decided to go ahead and read it and that’s when she missed a curve and drove off the road. The car then collided with a tree planted in someone’s backyard. Due to the lack of a seatbelt, she was thrown out the rear window. A shard of glass pierced her brain and she died instantly.
Texting and driving is a big problem in the U.S. According to
http://www.textinganddrivingsafety.com/texting-and-driving-stats, “There are around 1,600,000 accidents per year, 330,000 injuries per year and about 11 teen deaths every day, all because of texting and driving. Twenty-five percent of all automobile accidents are caused by texting and driving.”
Driving intoxicated is less dangerous than texting and driving. This is because cell phones have become handheld distractions which cause people to stop focusing on the road, and instead on their phones. It only takes one glance, one text message, to not only ruin your life, but to possibly put an end to it. I’m sure my sister didn’t think that reading one text message would be the difference between life and death, but it was.
So how can we fix this? Maybe we could design a phone that can calculate when you’re moving at high speeds, let’s say over 20 miles per hour, and then go into some type of sleep mode when you read that speed and up. We could make the phone to where the only thing you can do on it when it’s in this state of sleep, is make emergency calls. Then, when it detects that you are no longer moving at high speeds for more than 10 minutes, it returns to normal. Snapchat can detect when you’re in a car and says “please don’t snap and drive”. I think that the whole phone should be programmed like that.
The bottom line is that no matter what the solution might be, we need to find it because too many people are dying young because of this epidemic. My sister would been 27 by now if she hadn’t looked at her phone that night. From time to time, I find myself wondering what kind of life she would have had if she was alive. Would she be married and have a family of her own? Or would she be single and just focusing on her job? If so, what would her job be?
I will never get these answers to these questions because of texting and driving. My sister made one mistake and paid the ultimate price and now her family and friends are left with the pain of her death. A stupid text message is not worth your life. Just focus on the road, the message can wait till you’re home.