Eyes on the road, not on the phone

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, March 25, 2015

You’re driving down the interstate when suddenly your phone rings to alert you that you’ve received a new text message. Do you answer it or wait until you reach your destination?

Always choose the latter.

Last week, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 389 into law, which bans Mississippi drivers from composing, sending or receiving text messages, emails or social media messages.

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Not only should drivers opt out of texting while driving because it’s now illegal in the state of Mississippi, they should choose to stop texting behind the wheel because it’ll make the roads safer for everyone.

Texting while driving is equivalent to driving while intoxicated. I can’t say how many times I’ve almost been run off the road by a driver who was paying more attention to their phone instead of the road, which caused their vehicle to swerve into my lane.

Sometimes, I have to stop myself from reaching for my phone after I receive a text message. One second is all it takes for something to go terribly wrong. It’s not worth risking my life or someone else’s in order to send a text message or message someone on Facebook.

In 2012, distracted driving caused 18 percent of the fatal car crashes in the U.S., according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Distracted driving isn’t just texting while driving, it also includes talking on your cell phone or talking to the passengers inside your vehicle. Multitasking just doesn’t work when you’re operating a vehicle.

In a perfect world, we’d all be able to drive without any distractions, but oftentimes, it seems impossible, especially when there are other passengers inside your car.

While this new law could be seen as another way the government is infringing on human rights, it will hopefully force drivers to take driving more seriously.