Driven to distraction by cell phones

To the Editor:

I attended school today, the school has a policy to prohibit the use of a cell phone while on school grounds and in a school bus, however, the policy has never been recognized and/or policed by the school system so I have been texting and using my cell phone throughout my daily school activities and I guess I think I understood everything that my teacher had to teach me this day. I do not think that using my cell phone in class distracted me from learning and understanding the subject matter of the day. My attendance at the school did not stop me from using and texting on my phone, I even texted my fellow class mate that was sitting next to me. This was cool, most of my communications were performed via my phone. I even text my parents when I am at home when I want to communicate with them, I think this is the coolest thing.

School is out, I drove to school and am now driving home. As I felt that it was cool to be able to use my cell phone in school, I did not even think of possible distractions that I may encounter while driving and was using my phone, and when I realized that I was going to hit an oncoming vehicle I swerved to try and avoid an accident, I went off the road and hit a tree.

I woke up in the hospital about three days later, found that I was pretty bruised up, however, was told that I was very lucky to still be alive, and that I would probably be released from the hospital within the next few days. I also found out that the vehicle I missed was driven by a husband and wife and they had a small child in a car seat. I was informed that the family in the vehicle were all okay, they were very shook up and will eventually be fine. I was told that they were also concerned about my health.

It has been found nationwide that distracted driving kills more than 15 people and injures more than 1,500 people each day. Leading the list of distractions is using mobile phones, whether it be talking or texting. Even the use of hands-free devices does not lower the distraction levels, people that are engaged in cell phone conversations do not have their full attention in their environment to operate a motor vehicle safely. The famous sayings, "It will never happen to me," "Murphy's Law," really do go together. Don't let this be you out there!

Brian D. McNeal

Newport, Vt.

Editor's note: The above synopsis is a fictional account with a real message about distracted driving.


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