Keep Your Eyes on the Road!


Liam Kenny, Staff Writer

As teenagers get older and get their beginner’s permits and licenses to drive a motor vehicle, the biggest problem people have is texting on their phones with their heads down instead of having their eyes on the road. This is EXTREMELY dangerous, and even though law enforcement has enforced laws to try and prohibit this situation, teenagers and adults are still doing it.

Malia Woods, a senior, states, “I feel like texting and driving has become an epidemic, especially among teenagers.”

According to recent studies, approximately 600,000 drivers are still attempting to use their cell phone while sitting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Recent studies also reveal that cell phone distraction rates are extremely high.

According to a AAA poll:

  • 94% of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admitted to doing it anyway.
  • 21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their cell phones.
  • Teen drivers are four times more likely than adults to get into car-crashes or near-crashes when talking or texting on a cell phone.

One law prohibits drivers of all ages from using a wireless communicating device to compose, send or read a text while operating a motor vehicle on a public street or highway within the state. However, this law does not apply if you are lawfully parked or stopped, using a hands-free device, trying to get emergency assistance, sending or receiving data though a digital dispatch system and using a GPS system.

South Carolina’s current ban on texting and driving is found at S.C. Code 56-5-3890.

Along with these laws, if you are caught looking down at your phone while operating a motor vehicle, you will face consequences. Generally, the fine for a texting violation can’t exceed $25, and a texting ticket won’t result in demerit points being assessed the driver’s record.

As teenagers drive to their destination, let us become more aware of how dangerous texting on cell phones can be and how we can overcome that urge to wait until we are completely stopped at either a traffic light or a stop sign.


Picture Credit: Traffic Laws