So, a break from grad school to point out a campaign worth paying attention to. And, most of us, as grad students, are probably within the group of those who most commonly text while driving.
AT&T currently has a campaign called It Can Wait about texting and driving. For the campaign, they had Werner Herzog create a video called From One Second to the Next. It’s 34 minutes long, but worth watching.
I will admit to having talked on my phone while driving. Not at all common, but more than once. Every time I have ever done so, it has definitely felt like driving became much harder and I was always super nervous (a good enough reason right there to not do so). I don’t text a long. But I will admit to having read the occasional one that comes through. I would usually do so at red lights.
But, every time I have ever interacted with my phone, while being a driver, I have felt like an idiot. Nothing that someone is going to text me or call me to say can’t wait a few more minutes until I get where ever I’m going.
I’m often the pedestrian who is watching cars behave oddly as I try to cross an intersection. I’ve had to jump out of the way before, and bang on a cars hood, as the driver only looked to the left before proceeding to turn right even though I was walking through the crosswalk in front of them. I have seen cars blow through red lights after the other direction has already turned green and the crosswalk sign is on, and am glad that I waited the extra seconds before starting across.
I’m not at all putting on the blame on drivers using their phones. Sometimes, as mentioned above, it’s drivers being stupid enough to not check both ways before proceeding into an intersection or turning. But, most distracted driving accidents can be completely avoided just by paying attention to what you’re doing.
If you need to be accessible at all times, take a bus or a taxi where you can focus on your phone without having to drive at the same time. Otherwise, if you find you can’t resist your phone, try putting it in the back seat or in the trunk out of reach. You’re spending all of this time and effort working on an education. Don’t risk giving it all up for a text. It’s not worth it.