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The Dangers of Distracted Driving

dangers-of-distracted-driving-300x200All of us have different distractions that we face while driving, the most common of them being our cell phones. No matter what the distraction is, distracted driving is dangerous, not only to us but to other drivers and passengers onthe road.

State Trooper Kills Two In Tragic Accident

Kimberly Schlau of O’Fallon, Illinois witnessed the tragedy distracted driving can cause, when her two teenage daughters were killed instantly by a distracted state trooper. The trooper is believed to have been speeding to another crash and on his phone and on-board computer simultaneously when he struck the girls’ car. To honor her daughters’ memory, Schlau set up a foundation to provide educational opportunities to others in Southern Illinois. However, she is reminded each day what a dangerous and deadly act distracted driving is.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in the United States at least 9 people are killed each day in accidents involving at least one distracted driver, while more than 1,150 are injured. Schlau now takes time to visit police departments all over to talk to them about her daughters’ story. This is to help new and current officers realize that no matter the situation, they still need to work to keep others safe. She hopes her story will inspire officers to do more to be the safe drivers they want us to be.

When we are behind the wheel, we never realize the impact our actions could have. Each day, Schlau sees her daughters’ friends growing into women, while her girls will always stay the same age. Her youngest daughter has had to grow up without the guidance of her older sisters, and even their family pets felt the loss of loved ones. By one person’s actions, the Schlau family will never be the same again.

Distracted driving may seem harmless – one text here, one Tweet there – but at somepoint that one tweet or text will change someone’s life for the worse. If you get behind the wheel, the best thing to do is to put your phone away and focus on the road ahead of you, not a conversation online.

Schlau’s daughters are proof that no one is exempt from the dangers of distracted driving. Even a police officer who is responsible for making us uphold safe driving habits, can cause the death or injury of others by allowing themselves to be distracted behind the wheel. No matter what is going on around you, when you are behind the wheel your focus should always be your safety and the safety of others.

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