Texting and driving
DUBUQUE – Endless distractions surround drivers every time they get behind the wheel. However, the greatest and most deadly is quite possibly one that drivers create themselves, when all of their focus is centered on one small screen. Following a recent three car pile-up on Dodge Street, this accident led many to wonder whether or not people heed warnings of the dangers of texting while behind the wheel.
Lieutenant Scott Baxter shed light on some of the rather startling statistics that surround this easily preventable distraction, “They say roughly eighty percent of all crashes are caused by some sort of distracted driving. Texting and the use of electronics in a vehicle is a huge contributing factor to that.”
So, do students and faculty at Loras respect the road? Sophomore Awais Arain admitted he was no stranger to this activity, “I can’t deny that I haven’t texted and driven before, but I honestly don’t think it’s safe.” One Loras professor explained the great lengths he and his wife go to in order to ensure their safety on the road, “My wife and I have made a policy that we turn our phones off, or we just ignore them.”
Stephanie Harpenau, another Loras sophomore, said she keeps her eyes on the road, unless of course it’s an emergency, “If I’m at a stoplight or something and it’s a really important text and I see that it’s important I’ll quick text back. But if it’s just a regular text I just wait until I’m pulled over.”
Many students were surprised to hear that fines for texting while driving in Iowa can range from anywhere between thirty to one thousand dollars. If they weren’t convinced to take caution before, this staggering amount was definitely the deciding factor.
Thankfully, those at Loras appear to understand the risks and take necessary precautions in order to protect themselves and others on the road.
“The more you hear about accidents that happen you say, ‘Ok, that could definitley have been preventable.’ It just seems silly to risk your life over a text thats saying, ‘On my way,’ or something.”