Seth Shingler (West Virginia U): Don’t Text & Drive Scholarship

Unnecessary Risk with Serious Consequences

Growing up with technology has been such a blessing in my life. In my experience, it makes life easier, communication is more streamlined, and has many redeeming qualities. However, I am not blind to the fact that while technology has helped so many, it has it’s drawbacks as well. I am thankful enough to say that I do not text and drive very often, but each time I do, I realize that I am not only endangering my own life, but I am potentially endangering the lives of others as well. Both of my parents have warned me about texting and driving. My mother, a school counselor, has seen what happens to the lives of people when they lose a loved one due to a preventable death. My father, a sergeant in the state police, has seen his fair share of horror stories involving texting and driving. With both of my parents seeing the potential and preventable risk, they have clearly taught me that texting and driving is not a harmless action.

The screen-cap shown was the last time I was texting while driving. This is not something I am particularly proud of, and the contents of the messages were not worth the risk of me texting and driving. Looking back now, I could have sent these messages at any point when I was not driving. A big problem I face when it comes to texting and driving, is that I always try to keep people in the loop, even to a fault. I try to make sure when something is happening, all parties included are aware, and this means sometimes texting and driving to make sure I can spread the information. In these messages, I messaged my brother about a package that was being dropped off at his dorm. At the moment, I felt that I needed to let my brother know what was happening. I had this urge to make sure he understood. In hindsight, the importance of these messages was not worth putting my own life, and the lives of others at risk. I realized now that no text message is worth the risk of hurting somebody, or losing a life. I have texted and drove before in a few instances, but not often, which I am grateful for, knowing the risk involved.

Thankfully, I do not text and drive often, which helps me when trying to quit. Since it is not a regular occurrence, I feel that I am able to fully quit texting and driving. Not only do I want to quit, but I feel that I will be able to fully stop. However, if I stop, it will help lower my risks of getting into an accident, but it will not stop others. I have decided that to make a change, I need to start with myself, but I have also decided to help warn my friends about the dangers of texting and driving. If I can stop, I know I can help others to stop. It is an unnecessary risk, with serious consequences.