By Angela Lambinus
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Drivers who are students and staff members of Camden County College weigh in on the dangerous behaviors cell phone users take behind the wheel.
We are all aware that texting while driving can cause an accident, but ever wonder what other behaviors could also follow by the use of a cell phone when behind the wheel? Motorists who use a cell phone while driving are more likely to engage in additional dangerous behaviors such as speeding, driving drowsy, driving without a seatbelt and sending texts or emails, according to a survey conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety.
It’s an issue that you can spot just about anywhere, including right here at Camden County College’s Blackwood campus. When asked how often you see students texting while driving, “almost daily” is what John Schuck, assistant director of public safety of six years, responded. Schuck says he has never noticed any accidents on campus from texting, but has noticed erratic driving behavior.
A student here finishing up her last semester, Jillian Soupik, says, “Everyone should be paying more attention when driving, buckle up, drive the speed limit and most importantly put the cell phone down. Students are constantly walking around campus and most of the time it’s in and out of the aisles of the parking lots and most of them are not even paying attention to the cars driving around.”
As to how often students seem to text and drive now compared to before the law was passed against texting and driving, Schuck says, “very often before the law” and adds that it reduced after the law but students seem to be less concerned about the consequences.
“I urge everybody – not just teens – to remember the three simple rules of attentive driving: keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and mind on the task at hand. Put your texts and calls on hold, or the next message your friends receive may be from the hospital,” says Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.