You know that time when you almost had a really bad day because you did something stupid in the car, whether it was spending too much time looking at the radio dial, updating your TomTom, chatting on the phone, pushing the dog out from under the brakes because Mr. Cuddles doesn’t like to be restrained in a travel crate, or texting?
I think we all have a story like that. I hit a raccoon once because I wasn’t watching and that fricking raccoon is my version of Chris Griffin’s Evil Monkey; it haunts me. I once almost swiped another car because I reached down into the passenger side to grab my iPod after it slid off the seat. I do talk on the phone quite regularly, but one thing that I don’t make a habit of doing is texting while driving. It’s a recipe for disaster.
This 18-year old from Massachusetts killed someone while texting. From MSNBC:
A Massachusetts teenager was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison and loss of his license for 15 years for causing a fatal crash by texting while driving.Aaron Deveau, 18, was convicted of motor vehicle homicide by texting – the first driver in Massachusetts to face such charges, the Boston Globe reported.Prosecutors said Deveau, who pleaded not guilty, was texting on Feb. 20, 2011, when his vehicle swerved across the center line of a Haverhill, Mass., street and crashed head on into Daniel Bowley’s truck, killing the 55-year-old New Hampshire father of three.Bowley’s sister, Donna Burleigh, said her brother suffered severe head trauma and lingered in a Boston hospital for 18 days before dying.
So why do we do it? It’s really tempting to multitask in the car, especially if you have a long commute, or you’re stuck in the middle lane of a five lane highway during stop-and-go rush hour, or you’re driving at night on a seemingly empty road. It seems like nothing unexpected could be heading your way.
And that’s when it does. Jerky unexpected events, popping up at the worst times.
There is a campaign by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Ad Council called Stop The Texts, Stop the Wrecks. They claim that over 500,000 young adults are injured due to phone-related distractions each year. (One note – the CDC doesn’t give exact numbers for deaths or injuries for distracted drivers). The website has facts that help us understand what exactly makes texting so much more dangerous than other forms of driving distractions, and tips to help people stop texting and driving. This is the video they have on their front page:
Just. Don’t do it.
Do have any stories of how you’ve been impacted (literally, perhaps?) by text driving?