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Biology senior Quan Nguyen tests out All-state’s Reality Rides simulator which gives users a hands-on experience with the potential dangers of texting and driving. Drivers who text are 23 times more likely to crash than drivers impaired after drinking four beers.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Tacy | Daily Texan Staff

In an effort to demonstrate the risks associated with texting while driving, students tested their abilities to multitask behind the wheel in a simulation on campus sponsored by UTPD and Allstate’s Reality Rides initiative. 

The event, held Monday, was part of Reality Rides’ nationwide tour designed to educate university communities on the life-threatening risks of distracted driving, according to Kelly Conway, co-founder of the Fleming and Conway branch for Allstate Insurance.

“The reason we are targeting college campuses is because the number one killer of people between the ages of 11 to 27 is actually auto accidents, and one of the most common things that cause these accidents is using cell phones while driving,” Conway said.

The City of Austin passed a municipal ordinance last year that made using a handheld device while driving a citable offense associated with up to $500 in fines. APD has issued nearly 1,000 citations since the ordinance came into effect on Jan. 1, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

UTPD urges students to refrain from using handheld devices in their cars, UTPD officer William Pieper said.

“[The ordinance] is not something we enforce on campus because it is a city ordinance, and the campus is state property, but we understand how serious of a problem it is, and we encourage students to dedicate themselves to not be texting while driving,” Pieper said.

The widespread and incessant use of technology has made it difficult for police departments to convince people of the risks of texting while driving, Pieper said.

“When using technology becomes such a norm to do, it always becomes a natural thing to use it while driving,” Pieper said. “So getting them to realize that this is something dangerous is challenging. No text is that important. No phone call is that important.”

A lack of education regarding vehicular risks causes many students to take distracted driving lightly, according to mathematics sophomore Joseph Garcia.

“What we students consider one of the most benign objects, [vehicles], are actually the deadliest objects we encounter on a regular basis,” Garcia said. “I feel that if this was part of freshman education, we would be more aware of the risks involved in driving.”

UTPD considers distracted driving to be as deadly as driving while intoxicated, as they can both lead to fatal consequences, Pieper said.

“Whether it’s drunk driving or texting while driving, it only takes a second of inattention to cause something that could lead to some devastating consequences,”
Pieper said.

Two top-15 finishes by senior Desiree Dubreuil and sophomore Bertine Strauss lands the Longhorn women’s golf team a ninth-place finish in the final round of the rain-shortened Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate golf tournament. The Longhorns (294-301) ended the tournament at 19-over-par.

Despite sustained winds over 15 mph, Dubreuil (69-74) ended the tournament as the lone Longhorn under par. Her score total of 1-under-par gave her a season-best fifth-place finish on the players’ leaderboard. Dubreuil’s final round started at the seventh hole, which she bogeyed. She went on to bogey holes 11, 13 and 1 before sinking three consecutive birdies on holes 2 through 4. Dubreuil ended the day with a bogey on her last hole at the par-5 sixth. Strauss finished her final round tied for 13th with a 2-over 146 as her scorecard consisted of three bogeys and 15 pars.

Senior Katelyn Sepmoree only dropped back one stroke from her first round total to close out the tournament at 6-over 150, tied for 35th place. Fellow senior Madison Pressel finished tied for 70th with a score of 12-over par. Freshman Natalie Karcher made her first appearance in the Texas team lineup and finished tied for 82nd place at 15-over 159.

The end of the tournament included a playoff between rivals USC and UCLA. Both teams finished in the top two of the 2013 Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, with UCLA capturing that crown. This time it was the Lady Trojans who captured the team title. Twenty-seventh ranked Division I women’s golfer Hayley Davis of Baylor captured the individual title with a 4-under 140.

With spring football still to come, one Texas team will head to New Orleans to participate in Sunday’s Allstate Sugar Bowl. That team is the No. 24-ranked women’s golf squad. 

In its third year, this version of the Allstate Sugar Bowl is one of the premier women’s intercollegiate golf tournaments in the nation. Hosted by Tulane University, this year’s Allstate Sugar Bowl tournament will feature some of the toughest competition in the nation.  

Out of the 18 teams participating in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, 10 are ranked in the Golfstats.com Top 25. This includes the top-ranked University of Southern California Trojans, the No. 2 Duke Blue Devils, the defending team champions of the Allstate Sugar Bowl, and the defending national champion, now ranked No. 4, Alabama Crimson Tide.

The English Turn Golf & Country Club is a challenge in itself. The designer of the Par 72, 7,078-yard course, was none other than Jack Nicklaus. Many of the holes are guarded by sand and waste bunkers and have huge tiered greens. Water comes into play on all 18 holes.

Despite challenging conditions and teams, the Longhorns will seek to improve on their fourth place finish from last week’s Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge. 

The team still seeks more consistency as head coach Martha Richards talked about before entering the spring season. In three of the four tournaments they participated in this 2012-13 season, the Longhorns, as a team, have scored their lowest rounds in the final round of competition.

Although the Longhorns’ season is still young, this tournament will play a significant role in the team’s progression toward the Big 12 and NCAA Championships in April and May, respectively.

It’s time for another year of second-guessing the computers and begging for a playoff. After so many years though, we should be used to controversy and a lack of clarity when it comes to these bowl games — such as, if Alabama wins, everybody loses. For better or for worse, here are a few slightly sarcastic and very judgemental thoughts on this year’s BCS schedule.

Allstate BCS National Championship: No. 1 LSU vs. No. 2 Alabama Jan. 9

The match-up we’ve all been hoping against. If you’re into touchdowns, stay away. If you’re into field goals, this is your thing. Seriously though, what’s the point of playing this game? LSU is clearly the best team in the nation, it has already beat Alabama and is the champion of the universe’s best conference. If Alabama wins, then you’ve just got big problems because LSU will surely be the Associated Press champs and the season series will have been split. That’s a tie, right? It’s time for a playoff.

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Oregon Jan. 2

This might be as intriguing a bowl game in the last 10 years. You’ve got the power of Wisconsin against the speed of Oregon. You’ve got two of the nation’s best running backs — the Badgers’ Montee Ball and the Ducks’ LaMichael James. You’ve got two talented quarterbacks in Russell Wilson and Darron Thomas. You know what else you got? A game that should be far more exciting than the one at the top of this page. If the BCS ever made a good decision, it was this one.

Tostitos Fiesta: Stanford vs. Oklahoma State Jan. 2

Somebody call Truman and Stalin because we’ve got an arms race. Wow, that’s literally the worst joke I’ve ever told. I feel like the Alabama kicker right now. Somebody slap me. However, the Andrew Luck-Brandon Weeden should be the best quarterback battle of the season. Luck’s in the running for the Heisman Trophy and Weeden was too before his Cowboys lost a heartbreaker to Iowa State — their only one of the season. Thus, the biggest cry for a playoff this year was made by those one state north, who can’t believe that Alabama gets its second shot at LSU without letting anybody else take a turn.

Allstate Sugar: Michigan vs. Virginia Tech Jan. 3

Now we’re getting to the yawners. Virginia Tech loses by 28 points to Clemson in the ACC Championship game and still backs itself into a BCS bowl. Blame Houston, I guess, for losing $17 million and losing to Southern Miss last week. Michigan is led by Denard “Insert overused nickname here” Robinson, who can’t throw worth a lick but runs like a scatback: on 208 attempts this year, Robinson has rushed for 1,163 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Discover Orange: West Virginia vs. Clemson Jan. 4

For years, the Orange Bowl has been a joke. You’ve got the Big East Conference and its automatic qualifier to blame for that, but we’re lucky this year that it’s West Virginia who emerges from that mess and not Cincinnati, Louisville or Rutgers. The Mountaineers have a fun offense to watch and will be in the Big 12 in the near future, so this is a good look at them. Clemson has a dynamic pass-and-catch pair in Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins but, ACC Championship game not included, has a history of under-performing in big games.


 

It’s time for another year of second-guessing the computers and begging for a playoff. After so many years though, we should be used to controversy and a lack of clarity when it comes to these bowl games — such as, if Alabama wins, everybody loses. For better or for worse, here are a few slightly sarcastic and very judgemental thoughts on this year’s BCS schedule.

Allstate BCS National Championship: No. 1 LSU vs. No. 2 Alabama Jan. 9
The match-up we’ve all been hoping against. If you’re into touchdowns, stay away. If you’re into field goals, this is your thing. Seriously though, what’s the point of playing this game? LSU is clearly the best team in the nation, it has already beat Alabama and is the champion of the universe’s best conference. If Alabama wins, then you’ve just got big problems because LSU will surely be the Associated Press champs and the season series will have been split. That’s a tie, right? It’s time for a playoff.

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Oregon Jan. 2
This might be as intriguing a bowl game in the last 10 years. You’ve got the power of Wisconsin against the speed of Oregon. You’ve got two of the nation’s best running backs — the Badgers’ Montee Ball and the Ducks’ LaMichael James. You’ve got two talented quarterbacks in Russell Wilson and Darron Thomas. You know what else you got? A game that should be far more exciting than the one at the top of this page. If the BCS ever made a good decision, it was
this one.

Tostitos Fiesta: Stanford vs. Oklahoma State Jan. 2
Somebody call Truman and Stalin because we’ve got an arms race. Wow, that’s literally the worst joke I’ve ever told. I feel like the Alabama kicker right now. Somebody slap me. However, the Andrew Luck-Brandon Weeden should be the best quarterback battle of the season. Luck’s in the running for the Heisman Trophy and Weeden was too before his Cowboys lost a heartbreaker to Iowa State — their only one of the season. Thus, the biggest cry for a playoff this year was made by those one state north, who can’t believe that Alabama gets its second shot at LSU without letting anybody else take a turn.

Allstate Sugar: Michigan vs. Virginia Tech Jan. 3
Now we’re getting to the yawners. Virginia Tech loses by 28 points to Clemson in the ACC Championship game and still backs itself into a BCS bowl. Blame Houston, I guess, for losing $17 million and losing to Southern Miss last week. Michigan is led by Denard “Insert overused nickname here” Robinson, who can’t throw worth a lick but runs like a scatback: on 208 attempts this year, Robinson has rushed for 1,163 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Discover Orange: West Virginia vs. Clemson Jan. 4
For years, the Orange Bowl has been a joke. You’ve got the Big East Conference and its automatic qualifier to blame for that, but we’re lucky this year that it’s West Virginia who emerges from that mess and not Cincinnati, Louisville or Rutgers. The Mountaineers have a fun offense to watch and will be in the Big 12 in the near future, so this is a good look at them. Clemson has a dynamic pass-and-catch pair in Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins but, ACC Championship game not included, has a history of under-performing in big games.