Townsquare Media has been running a TXTING KILLS campaign. I have not directly been affected by a texting and driving incident, but a friend of mine lost his father to a teen that was texting and driving. What would you do if you had to choose between texting or driving? Would you keep the phone and ditch the ride or ditch the phone and keep the ride?

Nearly one third of 19 year olds living in the United States haven’t even attempted to get a driver’s license, according to a new study done by researchers at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. These teens are using email and text messages to keep in touch with their friends rather than cruising the drag by the XXX’s. In essence, they are choosing texting over driving.

I don’t know about you, but I for one am thrilled at this decreased interest in driving by teenagers. I can remember my teen years and some of the stupid things my friends and I did in a car. At that age it’s difficult to really understand the consequences of your actions. It is especially hard to be as responsible as you know you should be when you are trying to impress your peers.

Texting may be the leading cause of carpal tunnel syndrome in teens, but I’d much rather that be the concern than the consequences of an accident caused by an inexperienced and immature teen driver. I know not all teenage drivers are bad drivers, but they do lack the experience and knowledge older drivers have, making them more of a liability on the road. This is why insurance companies’ rates are so high for teen drivers.

The irony of it is that we have fewer drivers out there now thanks to texting, but the other irony is that we also have fewer drivers out there due to texting and driving.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of The University of Montana, animal lover and writer.

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