Reading this may save your grandchild’s life–or yours. Using a cell phone and sending text messages while driving is as dangerous as drinking to excess and getting behind the wheel of a car. Texting is the most dangerous distraction on the road and an epidemic among teens whose heads are firmly in their back pockets. If you know teen drivers – ride herd on them until they get it. You’ll save lives.
Are the Feds hiding evidence?
Two consumer groups FOIA-ed (Freedom of Information Act) documentation that indicates possible hanky panky in 2003 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Network news mediasays NHTSA declined to conduct a study related to cell phone use by motorists.
NHTSA allegedly squelched pounds of existing documentation that indicates extreme danger when drivers use cell phones. Even hands-free cell phones. Drivers on cell phones, says that documentation, caused nearly 1000 highway fatalities in 2002 and were responsible for 250,000 accidents. The data in 2002 said 6% of drivers were using cell phones at any given time. Imagine what that figure is now.
In 2003, traffic fatalities due to cell phone use more than doubled, and texting didn’t even exist.
I took a defensive driving course a couple of years ago, something I strongly encourage my peers to do. It was fascinating – I learned things I had never known and revisited basics I had forgotten.
A key points our instructor made: Your car, at highway speeds, goes half the length of a football field in under 2.5 seconds. If you look away from the road long enough to locate and pick up your beverage, unwrap your burger, swat your misbehaving child, or glance at your map, you can easily find yourself in an emergency situation facing a traffic hazard you never saw coming.,
If you are texting, you look down in your lap. Your thumbs are busily punching text buttons while your knees steer the car. You compose a text to your BFF (best friend forever), it could be your last thought. Or the last moment of someone else’s life. All because of 140 characters of text that were so urgent.
You don’t text, you say? How about your kids, nieces and nephews, grand kids? My daughter does. My neighbor texts in the car. My real estate agent texts or talks on a cell phone constantly.
You don’t think it’s a big problem? This year, many cities, like Chicago, outlawed texting while driving. I challenge you to watch other drivers carefully as you drive home today. See how many swerve slightly as they go. Are their heads canted downward, toward their laps? Are their hands on the wheel…or texting? You’ll see an amazing number of people in that position as they fly down our roads and highways. If you honk – you’ll get the finger.
If that text-addict screws up – you may get dead.
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