Logan McNeill (Eufaula HS, Eufaula, OK): Don’t Text & Drive Scholarship

Imagine it, you live at a lake town, it is 102°, no wind, and you about to have 5 days in a row off of work, could it possibly get any better? It definitely could not for me, but in one quick instant, it could have gotten unbelievably worse. 

I had just gotten off work and my friend and I had talked about meeting up and taking our jet skis out later that week.  I was so excited about the possible upcoming week I decided to do what my parents had told me over and over not to do, text and drive.  I work about 20 miles away from my house and the bulk of it is 70 miles per hour highway driving, cruise control is my friend.  I got on the highway, and could not stop thinking about hanging out and making sure I enjoyed my last week of school so I picked up my phone and text my friend to see if he was still up for it. 

Why did I do it?  What was so important that I could not have waited the 20 minutes until I got home?  It was a simple text asking when he worked that week.  Not a life changing conversation, in fact, it was not even a conversation that dealt with the next day, it was a question about 3 days later.  As soon as I did it I regretted it.  I could hear the speech my mom had given me almost every week for the past 2 years. “It can wait, I promise.”  And sure enough, she was right. 

I thought about all the possible scenarios in my head of what could have been.  All it takes is one swerve into another lane, one blow out, one semi-truck stopped because of construction and life as I know it could be dramatically changed.  I could have not only injured or killed myself, but also the car full of kids next to me, someone’s parents, grandparents, or siblings.  And no part of my text conversation was worth that chance. 

I know how hard it is to resist that ding when a text arrives.  You think about who it could be from and what they need.  But, as my mom says, “It can wait, I promise.”  Avoid the temptation, put the ringer on silent, put it on blue tooth, or simply ignore it and have patience.  Soon you will be at a stop light, at your destination, or home and you can text all you want. 

Texting and driving has become such an epidemic in today’s society and it must stop.  Many states have laws in place against texting and driving but the fear of the ticket is still not enough to end it.  It takes will power and I have found mine.  I urge you to find yours. We can end texting and driving with a little bit of patience, “I promise.”