I haven't touched on this subject in a while. It's not because I'm not seriously passionate about this topic, but simply because I feel that if I harp on it too much, you'll stop paying attention. I'm a parent…I know how these things work.
But here's the gosh darn truth…your kids are watching you. What are you teaching them about this ultra-important issue? Your child will one day drive on his or her own…the decisions he or she makes will most likely reflect what you have taught by example.
Not a parent? Keep reading…this information applies to anyone with a driver's license.
Here are 5 Things You Should Know about Distracted Driving:
Kids are walking to school and waiting at bus stops in the mornings now….you can't always see them very well when the sun is rising, big and bright. It is especially hard to see pedestrians when you are looking at your phone or concentrating on having a conversation with a person on the other end of the line and are also blinded by light.
If you see a person texting or otherwise obviously distracted and driving recklessly, please get the license plate number of that vehicle and pull over and call 911. Texting and/or using handheld devices while driving is illegal in many cities and states; reckless, negligent, distracted driving is illegal in every state, regardless of the cause. You could save a lives by taking action.
It is NOT efficient use of one's time to make or take calls or text or receive texts or check Facebook or Twitter or email while operating a vehicle. It is dangerous for you, as the driver, for any passengers in your vehicle and all the vehicles around you. Don't be tempted by this pitfall.
Be responsible. Not only should you not text or talk on the phone while driving, but you also must not take phone calls or answer texts from people who are driving. If it's clear that the person on the call is driving, simply explain your position by saying something along these lines. "Oh, it sounds like you are on the road right now. I'd be glad to talk to you once you get to your destination or at another time that is convenient to you when you are not driving." If it's clear to you that the person is texting you while on the road, simply do not reply.
Would you drink too much alcohol and drive your car? Would you allow your teenager to driver drunk? Would you let your kid bounce around the backseat, as we used to do as kids? Would you drive without your seat belt on?
When we will begin to view distracted driving involving cell phones to be as dangerous as drinking and driving or driving without proper restraints?
There was a time that driving without seat belts or car seats was considered perfectly fine. There was a time that people were not concerned about drinking too much alcohol and getting behind the wheel. Times change. I think distracted driving will eventually be recognized for what it is; too risky to be allowed.
Distracted driving due to cell phone use claims many lives each year. In 2011, 3,331 were killed in automobile accidents due to distracted driving. An additional 387,000 people suffered injuries in accidents due to distracted drivers.
It all happens in a blink of an eye. I have yet to receive a text or Facebook message or voicemail or email or phone call that was anywhere near being as important as my life, my kids' lives or lives of the strangers that share the roadways with me. How about you?
Please join me in my crusade against talking or texting while driving. Phone Down. Eyes Up. It's really very simple. Simple Stop. Over and out…