“It Can Wait”: Don’t Text at the Wheel


May 12, 2014

IMG_7587Seemingly every person in the 21st century has a cell phone and enjoys the applications that come with it, but is it necessary while you drive? Driving a motor vehicle is a task one should have complete focus on because in a blink of an eye you could run into another car, not see a pedestrian, or worse lose control of the car. Thankfully someone in our nation realizes the need to stop texting while on the road. This past week AT&T held a nationwide campaign at the Erie Courthouse on how dangerous texting is while driving.

The Cathedral Prep Key Club was asked to join in on the event at the courthouse to put in their word about driving and texting. When the students got there they did not know what to expect. The people of AT&T came up to us and asked, “Would you like to try out the simulator we have?”

Of course we had to. Who wouldn’t want to test out a driving simulator? Every student tried out the simulator, which drew a lot of attention to the tent outside the courthouse. People were coming over to watch what was happening. Everyone seemed to enjoy it until they got into the actual accident. This simulator showed exactly how in the blink of an eye a car could pull out in front of you or run a red light because you were looking at your phone. I asked Cathedral Prep senior Jordan Sauers, one of the attendees, to weigh in on his ride through the simulator and his thoughts on texting and driving.

“Being able to witness the results of texting and driving was a hands on learning experience,” Sauers said. “I didn’t know that the driving simulator would be that realistic. The cell phone is a very helpful tool. But there are right times to use it, so AT&T’s slogan is correct: It Can Wait. I realized this after I was able to talk to the representatives about how they felt. Seeing the facts truly shows what could happen while texting and driving.”

After everyone was able to try the simulator, County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper said a few words to the public about how if we want the change we must be the change, that we must set the example. Dahlkemper was adamant that we must be the change, especially when she gave the numbers on how many people have died this year alone from texting at the wheel. On average 11 people die per day from texting and driving incidents. Just think that in about 10 days the entire senior class could be dead. In 50 days the entire Cathedral Prep student body would be gone. This is a serious matter that, thankfully, is being brought up within our city that needs drastic changes as soon as possible.

She also asked a young driver to speak about the subject. John Hilbert, another Cathedral Prep Senior gave a statement on how he has texted at the wheel and had multiple scares. He wants to be a mentor to young drivers telling them about the dangers of texting and driving and hopes that people will realize the dangers, because it is a very serious subject at this time. Hilbert said what his father tells him every day about any decision he makes, “Was it worth it?” Because more than likely the next day it was not.

AT&T is looking to save a person’s life with this event—not only in the city of Erie but in the nation. This is a good start that someone wants to make a difference because if no one does it will stay the same. With the companies that produce phones, the people who make the laws, and the students behind the wheels all together trying to make a difference to stop texting and driving, there is a good for the future. Because truly, It Can Wait.

Check out photos from the event in the gallery below:

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