Auto accidents are preventable, says police

At any given moment, a car accident can occur. Texting while driving, eating or engaging in other activities while driving is considered distracted driving.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, each day in the United States, more than nine people are killed and more than 1,000 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.

In addition, said sending or reading a text message while driving removes a driver’s focus on the road and surroundings for an average of 4.6 seconds, the rough equivalent of driving the length of a football field at 55 mph entirely blind.

Florida A&M Police Chief Terrance Calloway said the university police department has reported 65 on-campus accidents this year.

“The average is between 55 and 65 every year,” Calloway said. “So 65 is considered normal compared to recent years. This average includes all accidents not just car on car.”

Calloway believes there are two main reasons for the cause of accidents.

“I’m sure that there are other factors that play a role in accidents but I believe two reasons are texting and speeding,” he said.

Mark Gibson, a sophomore criminal justice student from Orlando, learned this fact when he found himself in a ditch after attempting to dodge a car.

“I was sending a text, and within five seconds, I looked up and had to swerve off the road to keep from hitting the car in front of me,” Gibson said.

However, the driver is not always to blame for car accidents.

Samantha Hughes, a junior physical therapy student from Panama City, said she was involved in a car accident in July.

Hughes said the driver who caused the crash was distracted by a crying baby in the backseat. She was going through a four-way stop intersection when she was hit on the passenger side.

“All I could do was thank God it was the passenger side and not my side,” Hughes said.

Hughes noted that no one was injured.