Today, March 27th, at 1:05pm, there was a single vehicle accident at the corner of Grant and Fremont. The driver, with no passengers, was accelerating northbound on Fremont at a green light when the left two wheels of the car went onto the cement curb of the center divide then swerved into a tree. The driver was reaching into the back seat to get his phone which caused him to swerve. The driver did
not have any major injuries visible, and there were no other individuals involved in the accident. First responders arrived soon after the crash.
As high school students, upperclassmen are just beginning their experiences with driving. Last year, our school hosted an “Every 15 Minutes” event that showed students the very real effects of driving under the influence. The event impacted students in very different ways, but it did not address the much more common situation of using phones while driving. Although the driver in this situation is not a high school student and was not seriously harmed, this crash is still a very important example of how dangerous driving with distractions can be, as well as the incredibly powerful impact a car can have. It is very common for high school students to use their phones while driving. Whether a person is texting, looking up directions, or just plugging in his/her phone to be charged, he/she can easily overlook the small changes that it causes. For the driver in the crash today, all it took was driving slightly off center while grabbing his phone, but any insignificant effect could have caused a crash. Responding just one second slower to a dangerous situation could make it much more perilous.
Seeing this crash first hand made me personally much more aware of the dangers of the 3000 pound piece of metal that I have control of as a new driver. I encourage all students at our school, as well as all other drivers, to think twice before using their phones while driving. It can wait.