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June 22, 2016

Texting While Driving
Foolhardy at Best, Lethal at Worst - Ms. Alexis Simm

Each year the Police Foundation offers two $1,500 Scholarships for high school seniors and undergraduate college students. As part of their application packages, the students are required to write an essay on a topic indicated by the Foundation.

The topic of this year's essay was "Texting While Driving: Foolhardy at Best, Lethal at Worst"

The following essay was written by one of this year's Scholarship recipients, Ms. Alexis Simm.

"Texting while driving can be seen as one of society's most prominent downfalls. The creation of cell phones and the growing dependency our population has with staying connected has led to the bold move of texting while driving. The slogan "It can wait" is no understatement. Some may believe that texting while driving may have some benefits, but those benefits are heavily outweighed by the lethal consequences one can pay from getting into an accident while texting behind the wheel.

Within the past few years, as society has become more technology dependent, I have noticed a rise in the amount of people that are driving with their noses in their phones. The issue of texting while driving has been prevalent since I became a teenager. At that time, I started to see more people on their phones while driving as I watched helplessly from the backseat of my parents' car. Now as a licensed driver, I have to avoid the dangerous texting drivers myself. Drivers who are constantly checking their messages, responding to them, and glancing at their phones while behind the wheel, are the people that are putting everyone on the road at risk. It is very disappointing how contagious texting and driving has proven to be.

As more time goes on, more advanced cell phones and gadgets are created causing more eyes to be distracted from the road and their surroundings. More people are swerving into other lanes, and at worst, getting into fatal accidents. Phones have become such an extreme addiction that it is difficult for some to even put their phones down. I understand that this addiction to technology is why people feel it is necessary to text while driving, however, the consequences are not worth sending the text message. The only real perceived convenience of texting behind the wheel is to keep a conversation going; yet, the conversation could be much more worthwhile if the sender was able to have complete focus in their text messages.

Texting can put people into a daze. Often if I am talking to someone and they are texting I notice they do not listen very well; texting draws attention away from the present and puts our minds into an electronic messaging world. This distraction adds to the danger imposed on all drivers when there are so many unfocused minds operating vehicles. It can be hard to understand how fast an object can approach until you glance away for a split second and look back to see you are about to make impact.

As the controversy surrounding texting and driving and its dangers increases, attempts to decrease the amount of people who text while driving have been made. However, with the growing attachment cell phones have to the mind, we find ourselves prey to the noise of a text tone even when behind the wheel."