Written by Hunter Terrell, Staff Writer
Driving when you’re in a rush and using your cell phone are both considered equivalent to driving while intoxicated.
In 2007, before a mass of the American population carried a smartphone in their pockets, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that speeding was a contributing factor in 31 percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S.
“If people would make sure they leave on time instead of always running late, I think a lot of speeding tickets and crashes could be prevented,” said Elise Halman sophomore, sociology major.
The city of Valdosta, Remerton and downtown area all have strict speed limits.
Probably the most dangerous driving habit is using your cell phone instead of paying attention to the road—also called distracted driving.
1.6 million or 64 percent of all road accidents in the United States involve a cell phone.
And if that does not raise an eyebrow, over 330,000 accidents caused by texting lead to severe injuries. This means that over 78 percent of all drivers are distracted because they have been texting while driving.
“It’s true, I am unfortunately always on my phone. Playing music, Pokémon, texting, Twitter. It’s a bad habit that will probably get me in trouble,” said Matt Furlan junior, business major.
Georgia enacted two new distracted driving laws in 2010.
One prohibits all functions of texts while operating a motor vehicle and the other prohibits anyone 18 and younger from use of a wireless device while driving. Both are around a $150 fine.
The average speed in the US is about 55 mph. Taking five seconds to read a text means that the driver could go the length of a football field without looking at the road.
“My 18 year old cousin got a ticket for speeding as well as texting and driving. Both are pricey fines and both are super risky. It’s best if everyone practices safe and methodical driving,” said Zoey Poll freshman, undecided.
Overall, unsafe and distracted driving is a top killer in the U.S.
Car crashes are on the decline, but those involving cellular devices, is on the rise. Driving while using Snapchat or trying to run a yellow light is not worth anyone’s life.
Instead, try to be on time, make sure you have clear instructions to where you are going, lead by example, follow state laws and always practice defensive driving. It could end up saving your life.