Remember that from Drivers Education? Okay, only us Baby Boomers remember the real Drivers Ed: Student Driver sign on the back of the car, Instructor in the passenger seat, two or three scared classmates in the back, and the vehicle moving very tentatively through traffic.
“Eyes on the Road and Two Hands on the Wheel” the driving instructor would command!
My, how things have changed. Today’s driving experience is an exercise in multi-tasking…engaging all of the senses. Just take a look at the vehicles next to you (or passing you) on the roadways. Drivers are “jamming” with their favorite tunes, often eating and drinking (we are an “on the go” society) and, more than likely, either talking on the phone or texting.
Truly there are some beneficial devices we use while driving. GPS apps can help us navigate to destinations quickly often avoiding difficult traffic situations. That’s a plus! But, communicating with other people while driving, whether talking, texting or e-mailing is simply asking for trouble.
Distracted Driving can kill us.
Not to be morbid, but I am sure each of us knows someone who has been seriously injured or lost their life due to Distracted Driving. My neighbor’s grandson missed a curve and died after hitting a tree. They discovered a partially finished text on his phone.
My son on his motorcycle was “cut off” by a college student “texting” while changing lanes. Michael was ejected from his motorcycle in heavy traffic and suffered severe injuries.
One in my immediate family affected…another in my neighborhood family. Distracted Driving was the cause of both accidents.
The same advances in science that brought us these “gadgets” has now provided us with deterrents that can help us, as a society, cope with the onslaught of technology in our vehicles.
In the marketplace, there are several devices that can disable cell phones when the automobile is running. As a parent, that gives me some piece of mind…until you realize that kids will often just borrow a passenger’s phone to talk to their girlfriend/boyfriend or send a text.
Some states have made cell phone use when driving a moving violation. Fines and penalties do tend to hurt and get the message across quickly. This is by no means a fool proof remedy as there are now large displays and blue tooth audios, but it would help.
The best answer for all of us is just abstinence. Put the phone down and disable any device that would distract you while driving. Review your route in advance and get from your starting point to your destination without incident and without distraction. If you feel you need a “fix,” try some soft music while you drive.
Make a new habit of not using your phone during a trip. I’m sure your loved one would much prefer to speak to you safe and “in person” as opposed to having that last text. Remember, “Eyes on the Road,” it only takes a second of distraction to cause or prevent an accident.
Distracted Driving can kill us!