Vienna, Austria. A city with refined beauty, a city filled with classical music, a city that’s the embodiment of art, and a city that has the worst type of cabdrivers you will ever meet. Okay, maybe those cabdrivers are not limited to Vienna. Normally, I’m not the type who drives around a city in a cab, but I was visiting with my parents and both of them are not the best walkers anymore. We drove in a cab maybe four times, and all four times the drivers pulled out their phones and answered messages they had received. Excuse me, sir, we didn’t get in your cab to risk dying here, or did we?
Yes, that’s the thing here. Texting and driving. I can go and look up statistics about how many people annually die because of car accidents that involve the driver texting, but I’m not going to depress anyone with those numbers. What I am going to do, is get really mad at every single person who thinks it’s totally fine to be on their phone while they are driving, let alone when they are driving with other people in their car with them, and especially those who are working and using their phone for answering personal messages while driving with other people inside the same car.
Instead of statistics, I will talk about a couple lethal accidents that have taken place in the past few years. Back in 2015, a 17-year-old teenager caused a father and daughter to die in yet another car accident that involved texting and driving. And then in March of 2017, a truck driver from Texas killed 13 people and admitted that this accident was caused because he had been texting while driving.
A 24-year-old woman from Ohio who was texting while driving and ended up killing two 14-year-old girls, and critically injuring a 15-year-old boy. These two girls lost their lives before they got to live them. The boy is most likely traumatized for the rest of his life. The families of these children are forever scarred. And the driver herself? Just to name a few, she was charged with voluntary manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and driving while texting. Now, that doesn’t sound too pretty.
Imagine you being this 24-year-old woman. Or one of the 14-year-old girls. Or the 15-year-old boy. Or a family member of one of the victims. The consequences of texting while driving are enormous. You could end up miserable and in prison, you could end up dead, you could end up severely injured, you could end up heartbroken. It’s not like people haven’t been there. That’s maybe what breaks my heart the most, how common accidents resulting from texting and driving have become.
I know that not everybody who texts while driving considers what might happen while they are on their phone. That’s why I’m writing this. Now I started off with the cabdrivers from Vienna, right? Every second inside the taxi, I was fearing a possible accident. People who I didn’t know were putting me in danger. I had gone to the city to have a good time, not to fear for my own life and the lives of my family. It’s safe to say that the same goes for everyone else who is sitting inside a car with a driver who is texting. The same goes for people in other cars around the driver who is texting. And the same goes for everyone else outside of the car with the driver who is texting. Everybody expects to be safe and not be at risk of dying in a car accident that will be caused by a driver who was texting while driving.
To everyone who occasionally texts while driving: from now on, please think twice before you check your messages while you’re behind the wheel. I’m not lucky enough to have never been involved in a car accident. Actually, I’ve been hit by a car twice. I am, however, lucky enough to have survived. Please be careful when you’re driving. Whether you’re an experienced cabdriver from Vienna, or just someone who recently got their driver’s license, please remember that not everyone is as lucky as I am. In the end, car accidents are unfortunately inevitable, but car accidents that involve texting while driving can be prevented.