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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Event raises driving safety awareness

With almost 3,000 deaths caused by texting and driving each year, an Agrilife Extension speaker addressed the risks of distracted driving Friday in Rudder Tower.
The Agrilife Extension puts on programs dealing with distracted driving about 60 to 70 times a year across four different universities and two counties to raise awareness of the responsibility of safe driving, according to Cindy Kovar, the speaker at the event.
“When we are in our cars, we need to be driving,” Kovar said. “That’s what we are there to do — drive. You are not there to multitask. You aren’t there to even listen to the radio, even if it’s right there. That’s not what we are there to do. We are there to try to get from point A to point B safely.”
Kovar said the feeling of using a phone in the car is a response from the prefrontal cortex of your brain that dictates short-term happiness. She said one way to keep from using a phone while driving is to change the ringtone of family members’ calls and texts so the driver knows if a message is important.
Community health junior Courtney Lawley attended the event because she feels like texting and driving is something she needs to work on.
“I enjoyed this program because I struggle with texting while driving,” Lawley said. “I [text and drive] because I feel like I need to respond right then and I feel the pressure that they need the response right now.”
Lawley said she found the program helpful.
“I think this ban will be good for me because it can help me start changing my habits,” Lawley said. “People will start changing because they don’t want to pay the ticket. I think it will help me change even more.”
Community health junior Laura Egger said the event put safety into perspective.
“This presentation not only made me think about how I use my phone while driving, but also about my loved ones when they use their phones while driving,” Egger said. “It makes me concerned and I want to tell them about the risk.”
Kovar said she hopes to see more people attending programs like Friday’s event to get educated on the risks of distracted driving.
“I think it went well,” Kovar said. “We would like to see more numbers in the classes, but if we can just reach one person, then it was definitely worth my time. That one person may be the person that makes a difference.”

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