One Text or Call Could Wreck it All
Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways. In 2010, 3,267 persons were killed in distracted driving crashes. In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving distracted driving. The trend is obviously on the rise.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is leading the effort to stop texting and cell phone use behind the wheel. They have banned texting and cell phone use for commercial drivers and encouraged states to adopt tougher laws
In Pennsylvania, there is a ban on texting while driving. It is a primary law which means that an officer can ticket the driver for the offense without an other traffic violation taking place as opposed to a secondary law which means an officer can only issue a ticket if a driver has been pulled over for another violation, such as speeding.
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and pedestrian safety. Distractions are things such as:
- Using a cell phone or smart phone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading, including maps
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a music player
Text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is the most dangerous of all distractions. Sending or receiving a test takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field at 55 mph with a blindfold.
Each one of should make a commitment to drive phone free and not text while driving. Pull over if you have to make a call or respond to someone. Pay attention to your driving. If you are a passenger, make sure your driver does the same. It’s as important as making sure that all children are in child seats and everyone has their seatbelt buckled.