Texting while driving has become NBD. In fact, data from the University of California, San Diego’s Trauma Epidemiology & Injury Prevention Research Center suggests this act is quite widespread among college students.
While TWD may seem like a harmless act, most of us remain oblivious to this habit’s potential for real danger.
Of the approximately 5,000 San Diego County college students who participated in the study, 78 percent admitted to either talking on the phone or texting while operating a motor vehicle. Of those participants, 87 percent had sent texts while idling at traffic lights while 50 percent confessed to texting while driving on the freeway. Only 12 percent of those surveyed denied texting while driving entirely.
Doctor Linda Hill, a clinical professor at UCSD’s School of Medicine, is one of many who is bothered by these figures.
“Despite the known dangers, distracted driving has become an accepted behavior,” Hill said in a recent press release. “Distracted driving is a highly prevalent behavior in college students, who have misplaced confidence in their own driving skills and their ability to multitask.”
Contrary to what most believe, talking on the phone while behind the wheel is not necessarily a safer alternative to texting. In fact, similar studies have indicated that phoning a friend can amplify the risk of an accident fourfold.
While humans have undoubtedly benefited from many technological advances, including both the cell phone and the automobile, the consequences of combining the two can mean sensory overload for many drivers.
Lesly Chan, a third-year biochemistry and molecular biology student, was a victim of said multitasking.
“I got hit on the freeway by a student going 70 miles [per hour] because he was texting, ultimately causing a six car pileup,” Chan said. “It was really traumatizing.”
Gauchos, don’t be stupid. Seriously though, texting on your smartphone in your Smart car does not make you better or less vulnerable than the rest of us. Your hilarious, half-baked jokes texted from the highway are not worth, well, your health and wellness.