OPINION: Distracted driving can wait

BY MAGGIE MCGONAGLE (’15)

29-year-old Nathan Richeson was struck and killed while changing a flat tire on the side of the road (I-77) on August 29. The driver lost control and hit the Granville graduate, according to investigators. Richeson had many fatal injuries and was declared dead on the scene.

While it is not clear why the driver lost control, this accident is a sobering reminder that we need to be extra careful on the roads. And for teenagers, that means we need to make sure we are not distracted.

In the past ten years, teenagers across the country have passed away due to distracted driving. It doesn’t seem like a real thing until you are affected by the death of a friend, family member, etc. When it does happen there is no explanation.

Not only the family of the wrongly deceased that mourns, but the family of the person who caused the crash. Neither family’s life will ever be the same.

It is not talked about seriously enough that distracted driving is a terrible decision. Although we always hear that people should not do it, teens and parents alike continue to make this stupid choice.

Some examples of distracted driving include loud music, rowdy passengers and the most well-known: TEXTING. There is no need for an adolescent or adult to send a text or talk on the phone while driving. If it does seem necessary, however, why not pull over and send the text or place the phone call?

By looking down to send a text while driving it is so easy to swerve into another lane and collide with someone else. It is so simple to drive while keeping both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road.

We need to take this information and do the right thing: put the phone away, turn down the volume and calm the disrupting passengers. Nobody is invincible.