Students’ Opinions Are Sound on Texting and Driving
By ALEXANDRA NOLAN
In a recent JerEcho online and anonymous survey, Jericho High School students were asked about their texting and driving habits and their views on this pressing issue.
Of the 107 survey respondents, only 23% admitted to sending a text while driving, which is lower than the 41% of teenagers who do so nationwide according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. A 16-year-old respondent said, “I get extremely nervous when I’m in the car with someone who’s texting and driving, or just seeing someone in another car texting behind the wheel.” Nearly 50% of respondents believe that texting while driving is unacceptable at all times, but 35% think that red lights are an exception. “Texting and driving is dangerous and shouldn’t be allowed, but sending a quick text at a red light is okay,” said one student. The survey also showed that students believe that checking for texts, but not actually sending them, is more common and considered less dangerous.
The main factor that influences whether or not students use their phones while driving is where they store their phone in the car. Only 35% of students think phones should be stowed completely away and turned off. However, many students think their phones should be kept on in case of an emergency. The majority of students choose to keep their phones nearby while driving, but silenced or turned over to minimize the potential distraction.
Despite the fact that most teenagers have been told by their parents or other adults that texting while driving is dangerous and shouldn’t be done, a staggering 90% of the respondents have witnessed an adult partaking in this practice at least once. When asked whether being older or more experienced makes a driver more capable of texting while driving, 25% responded yes. One student admitted to taking her father’s phone away in the car to prevent him from texting. Another student said, “People become more confident as they become more experienced behind the wheel and believe that they can text and drive, but the truth is they are taking a risk every time they do it.”
In a new campaign to promote safe driving, Jericho High School has increased awareness with a new series of posters around the school warning students of the dangers of texting and driving.