“Distracted driving is a growing public safety hazard,” the study reads. “Specifically, the dramatic rise in texting volume since 2005 appeared to be contributing to an alarming rise in distracted driving fatalities.” “We’re back where we were when we started going after drunk drivers,” Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said during this year’s Distracted Driving Summit in Washington. This from a recent article in AOL News.
I know I keep harping on the use of cell phones while driving, but statements like the ones above are of GREAT concern to me. This has turned into a political debate when people say they don’t want the Government telling them what they can and can’t do in their own vehicles. That is all well and good, but when you become a hazard to the general public – something needs to be done. My observation over the years is that unless you have lost someone or you personally know someone that lost a loved one, people really don’t care. Traffic safety just isn’t a “sexy” topic and think “oh that isn’t going to happen to me, or to my family.” Unfortunately, it happens to people every single day and lives are changed forever. Text messaging while driving has resulted in over 16,000 deaths over a six year period. Oprah Winfrey has started a No Phone Zone pledge and thousands of people have signed it. Much much more needs to be done.
As the owner of a driving school and president of the Red Means Stop Traffic Safety Alliance, I have met far too many people that have lost loved ones because of carelessness on the roadways. It breaks my heart every time the victim families introduce themselves and break down because they have lost a child, or a mother or a friend. These are the ones that have lost loved ones, there are thousands more that have sustained injuries because of careless people on the roadways. Young children and teens in wheel chairs who will never walk again. Thousands more suffer from traumatic brain injuries because of traffic incidents. What we need to realize is that most of what happens out there is preventable. Staying off of the phone and staying focused on driving is a relatively simple thing to do, yet, as the article states, we are back to where we were when we started going after drunk drivers – unbelievable, that we are moving backwards instead of forward.
Take a stand NOW, talk to your family and sign Oprah’s pledge – help make America’s roadways safe.