AT&T raises awareness about the dangers of texting and driving

Jillian Ferry, Website Editor

Drivers have all been there before, riding along when the text alert go off on a cell phone. The urge to quickly grab the phone comes over the driver and now their eyes are off the road.

“The basic thing people don’t think about is that it really only takes one second to get in a car accident,” drivers training instructor Patricia Gray said. “You look down for one second and something happens.”

The something that happens could be getting pulled over by the police. Texting and driving has been illegal in Michigan since July 2013, and a first offence results with a fine of $100.

“In Michigan over 60 percent of young people have admitted to texting and driving,” Fenton Chief of Police Rick Aro said. “This year we have written 7 traffic tickets for distracted driving.”

As the possible distractions such as texting, calling and numerous social media outlets grow, teens are more tempted to look at their phones than ever before. With this said there are many things that teens can to prevent themselves from texting while driving.

“I put my phone far away from me,” junior Cassie Young said. “I plug in the aux and put it somewhere else where I am not tempted to touch it.”

Driving is a task that takes the driver’s full attention and if a message comes in, they have a choice to make, whether to respond to the message or wait.

“If you have a call come in or a text and you think it’s important pull over to the side if the road and take a minute and look at it,” Aro said. “If not it can wait to your destination.”

Distracted driving can lead to unfortunate consequences. According to the National Safety Council a minimum of 26 percent of crashes in 2015 involved distracted driving.

“We have all been there, we have all have felt like we could take a chance just this one time,” Aro said. “But those chances eventually are going to catch up to you and if you have a accident and somebody gets hurt that can have a significant change in your life. You just have to be smart about that and do the right thing even though there some temptation to take a glance at it.”

AT&T has come out with a pledge for drivers to never drive distracted, take it here.