Articles Tagged with distracted

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shutterstock_542928041-300x200We all know the dangers of texting and driving. With so many public service campaigns warning us, how could we not? But knowing and acting are two different things.

You’re behind the wheel of your car, paying close attention to the road. Then you suddenly hear the tune of your choice for your text message alert. Hey, it could be your boss, your spouse, your child – someone and something important. What do you do? Chances are, you do what most people do – read the text. And if the message is important enough, what’s the next thing you do? You respond, of course. Texting has become so popular in our culture, it often replaces phone conversation, even for those of us middle-aged and over.

But the facts remain. Driver distraction is a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents each year, with texting taking the lead for that statistic. To date, fourteen states plus the District of Columbia have banned texting while driving. Numerous U.S. Senators are currently attempting to pass a bill to ban texting nationwide. In spite of these measures, drivers still text away, causing wrecks, injuries and countless deaths.

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New Study – Phones May Be The Single Most Important Factor In Causing Car Crashes

A $70 million study funded by the US Transportation Research Board and conducted by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute concludes that cell phone usage could be the single greatest cause of car accidents today. The study monitored over 3500 drivers in cars equipped with video cameras and other sensors and revealed drivers doing many things in addition to driving such as finding a suitable radio station, checking text messages and notifications, interacting with passengers and other things not related to driving. The study concluded that distracted driving doubled the risk of car crashes overall and distracted driving behaviors occurred approximately 50% of the time.

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Savannah-nash-300x167I’m not sure even where to start writing here. As a mother I was heartbroken to hear the news of the young sixteen-year-old girl named Savannah Nash who died this weekend as she ran her car into a tractor-trailer — an accident that investigators have found most likely was caused by her texting while driving. I cannot imagine the grief her parents are going through, but I can imagine that they likely warned her not to text and drive. I also realize young people rarely think anything bad will happen to them. I was young once too, and I know I didn’t always listen to warnings of danger either.

Now as a parent, my greatest fear is my children not listening to me about the dangers of distracted driving,although I warn them regularly. In fact, just last week after blogging about the staggering statistics of the dangers of texting and driving, I shared with my children the information I learned, hoping that if I continue to remind them enough, they will understand the serious nature of this issue. Specifically, I told them as we were driving down the highway at 55 mph that if I sent a text at that exact time it would be the equivalent of my driving the same speed blindfolded down the length of a football field. I figured it was a statistic they could understand.

I never imagined that so soon after, I would be following up that conversation with the news of young Savannah Nash’s driving accident. The fact is that however difficult it was for me to tell them about what happened or to write about it now, I hope that if I remind people to wait to answer that one text or email, everyone will understand.

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