It Only Takes Once

In this day and age with our A.D.D. addled and shortened attention spans, we keep our smartphones with us at all times, posting on Facebook, Tweeting, checking email, playing Words With Friends and Candy Crush, and worst of all: texting while driving.

It’s become an epidemic in many countries, especially the United States. According to National Highway Safety Administration, 27 percent of twenty-something deaths were due to distracted driving. Texting while driving is one of the largest culprits of distracted driving, especially for young adults.

It’s easy to do. “Just let me check my messages real quick,” you think, while sitting at a red light. Fine. But it’s really like a gateway drug. Once you get comfortable, you think you can get away with it. Or, rather, you know you can. Everyone does it, right? You do it more often, and now you think you can do it while the vehicle is in motion.

But all it takes is once. One time, one split second, and suddenly you’ve smacked into a car that’s stopped short in front of you. You didn’t see their brake lights in time, and didn’t have time to react appropriately. Now you’re going to be late for work because you just caused an accident. Your insurance rates will likely go up, and your car might not run right anymore. And that’s if you’re lucky. If you’re not lucky, well then, likely you’re dead, or seriously injured. Or someone else is.

“But that won’t happen to me,” you think. “It’s a skill I’ve honed,” you think.

You think you can hold the phone in such a way that you can see the road and text at the same time. Wrong. Here’s a newsflash: there is no such thing as multi-tasking. The brain simply does not have the capacity to do two or more things at once. Studies have shown that the quality of tasks diminishes significantly when we try to focus on more than one thing at a time.

When you get behind the wheel, put the phone down and out of reach. Because, really, it can wait.

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