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Commentary- Save lives: Don’t text and drive

Commentary- Save lives: Don’t text and drive
September 27
04:00 2018

By James B. Ewers Jr.

Like most children back in the day, I had a hard head. My parents would tell me what was right, and I would do what was wrong. Sometimes I thought the little people in my brain worked for some evil creature.

I didn’t like doing the wrong thing. It just happened that way. Paul in the Bible writes in Romans about his struggles with right and wrong. As people, we have choices and decisions to make each day. Making good decisions will probably bring us gain while making bad decisions will lead us to pain.

Unfortunately, bad decision-making and poor choices stay with us over a lifetime. The difference is, in my view, some of us have a propensity to continue to make ill-advised decisions. We know the old expression, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” Sometimes we can’t get out of our own way. There are cases where we make bad decisions because they require less thinking. We make poor choices because of peer pressure. This is especially true among teens and young adults. I am not saying older Americans don’t make bad decisions because we do. I can make the case that we have made a lot of bad decisions and poor choices over the past year or so.

One poor choice some of us continue to make is texting while driving. It doesn’t matter that we see signs admonishing us not to drive and text. We do it anyway.

I cannot text while driving. When I was much younger, it was dangerous and now that I am older, it is still dangerous and against the law. When I drive, it’s scary to see folks texting and driving. Usually, they are millennials who still believe they are invincible.

Technology has created a “right now” society. When that bell sounds on our phone, we react right away to it. I think cell phones have put a dent in our ability to have face-to-face conversations.

We know that texting and driving is a major cause of accidents. While there are many of us that don’t do it, there are enough of us that do it. While some may disagree, I think it is getting worse. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t see someone texting while driving. If you say anything to the guilty party, it will only cause a road rage incident. We know that the numbers for road rage incidents are increasing each year. So how do we stop it?

There are no easy answers. One sure-fire way is that we or our family members become victims of texting and driving. Then there will be an avalanche of support to stop it.

According to the National Safety Council, nearly 390,000 injuries result from texting while driving. Further, one out of every four accidents is caused by texting and driving.

Phyllis Leufroy, a driving instructor in New Orleans, says, “New drivers must be made aware of all laws associated with safe driving.” She adds, “We are responsible for each other on our streets and highways. Texting and driving must be stopped, and heavy fines must be levied to send a clear message.”

Let’s be proactive about texting while driving before it is too late.

James B. Ewers  Jr. Ed.D. is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University, where he was all-conference for four years. He is a retired college administrator.  He can be reached at ewers.jr56@nullyahoo.com.

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