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Moriah Rodriguez (Southwestern): Don’t Text & Drive

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WELCOME: Moriah has been chosen as one of 5 finalists in our $1,000 Don’t Text & Drive Scholarship, which is intended to help raise awareness about the dangers of texting and driving amongst college-aged students.  Studies have shown that 18-24 year olds are twice as likely to be involved in a texting and driving accident than any other age group.  The finalist that creates the most social interaction about their essay, wins! (facebooktwitter and Google+

Make sure you “like,” “share,” “retweet,” and/or “+1” the social media post that led you here! (Rules)

Moriah’s Essay:

In a ratio from my text to the risk I took, it proves flat out stupid. No excuse can okay the risk but here is the story behind it so you can get a little background knowledge:

Moriah RodriguezEarlier that morning, my boyfriend called me while in class, of course I could not respond. So, once I got out I called him three times and received no response. Then he texted that he was at work the rest of the day and I was perplexed as to why he called because he never calls during class. The text that I had texted while driving was asking why he called and I again looked to see what he responded and then left the conversation alone. I felt the urge to text because I was worried and thrown out of routine. I do not text and drive often, however, because I do it only occasionally, I am guilty of saying it is okay. It is extremely difficult for me because my take on it is that I only text and drive when it is something important or when I feel like I have to. If you were to ask me a couple of days ago if I was going to stop texting and driving I probably would have said no, not entirely. However, while on my way to school I got a rude awakening that truly shook me up. As I was looking down at my phone, the car next to me started honking frantically. After I regained my focus, I realized she was directing it at me. She was yelling at me and gesturing with her hands to stop texting. She would point down, pretend to text, and then give the pointed “no” sign. I was not swerving or anything of that sort but it still shook me up because that situation revealed that even though I thought I was focused on the road, my attention was on the phone. It came to my understanding that had I not been given that warning people all around me could have been severely hurt and all for what? Five words?

Also, recently, I watched a video on Facebook that had me in shock with tears streaming down my face. I had always seen those “don’t text and drive” commercials but I still had continued with my occasional emergency excuse. This video, on the other hand, was personal. In the video drivers who text communicated with a girl who was affected by a serious accident. The cause of the accident was a texting driver. Through this one catastrophe, both her parents were killed, she was in hospitals for a total of 4 months. She is partially paralyzed and had to learn how to do the most basic of life’s activities; things that we don’t even consider as things to be learned such as how to eat and walk. After these incidents I decided that I am not going to text and drive including the occasional, “its okay,” text. I know I’ll have to wait and pull over if necessary but I don’t care because I refuse to leave someone parentless.

I refuse to leave someone paralyzed. 
I refuse to be responsible for the loss of someone’s life. 
I choose to be responsible and save the lives of everyone around me.

“Why did you call earlier?” These five words are not worth a life. 

~Moriah Rodriguez


NOTE: while some minor formatting was done while posting, this essay was not edited by the Law Offices of Matthew J. Quinlan.

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