Vernon Glenn of Mount Pleasant has won The Post and Courier’s Golden Pen award for October for his letter to the editor “Texting and driving: One at a time.”
Mr. Glenn’s letter warned that texting while driving has sharply increased over the last few years. He wrote:
“We’ve heard about the dangers of texting while driving, but the statistics — and the lasting effects — are sobering.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, sending or reading text messages takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. In a car traveling 55 miles per hour, that’s equivalent to driving the length of an entire football field — with your eyes closed. Driving while texting increases the risk of a crash 23-fold, and using any handheld device quadruples it.”
And: “It’s even more of an issue for our less experienced teen drivers. Distracted driving is a key factor in about 11 percent of teen traffic fatalities. That’s 11 percent of teen fatalities that could be avoided by simply putting down the phone.”
He noted that as an attorney, he has repeatedly seen “the consequences of distracted driving.”
As Mr. Glenn put it: “Most of the victims we represent have been injured due to the negligence of another. As long as people are texting while driving, everyone on the road is at risk.”
He cited the fact while 39 states have outlawed texting while driving, “South Carolina is not among them.”
But he pointed out that in this state, texting can already “be found as a cause for negligence in an accident.”
His letter concluded:
“Texting while driving is known to cause injury and death. Let’s put an end to unnecessary suffering and keep our eyes on the road. Like most things in life, the text can wait.”
Golden Pen winners are invited to an annual luncheon with the editorial staff.