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Dangers of Texting And Driving Push Lawmakers To Propose Change

By: Selina Affram Email
By: Selina Affram Email

People like to be connected and with cell phones almost everywhere, they ultimately end up in cars. Often being used while driving.

Travis Lewis usually has his phone attached at his hip, but says there's a time and place for everything.

"I can wait like 5 -10 minutes to get to where ever I need to go and then text my friends. I think they'll understand. It's not that big of a deal," said Travis Lewis.

Annie Tadvick drives for a living, delivering for Edible Arrangements. Through her job she has seen it all.

"They'll drive speeding and for long periods of time and they're texting. I think what it comes down to is we're really obsessed with it and we don't want to let it go," said Tadvick.

The Texas legislature has bills in both the senate and the house with the goal to pass a law banning texting while driving.

Researchers have been conducting tests on texting and driving for years. The Texas Transportation Institute released their findings on what they say can be a deadly habit.

"Texting essentially doubles a driver's reaction time. What that means is that it would take you twice as long to respond to a change in your roadway environment," said Christine Yegar.

At the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service training course we conducted a road test to show how texting while driving can be a distraction and some say a hazard to not only yourself, but others on the road.

At the abandoned military runway at the Riverside campus, West of Bryan an obstacle course was set up for us. Cameras were set up in and outside the car to capture my every move. Going up to 35 miles per hour I tried to maneuver the course while texting. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't keep from knocking down cones. If those cones had been people, someone could have been seriously hurt.

Back on the real streets of Bryan-College Station,Tadvick doesn't need to see a study or an obstacle course to know how dangerous texting and driving is.

"If it's affecting someone more than you, I think it's kind of selfish to think it's OK when you could be hurting someone potentially," said Annie Tadvick.

Two years ago, lawmakers decided that texting and driving should be banned, but the bill died at the Governor's desk when he didn't approve it. It may be four months before we know if this proposal will meet the same fate.


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