Perspectives

Texting and Driving

By: Marion Webber

Originally Published on May 25th, 2017

This article is brought to you by: Mosher’s Jewlers
336 Huron Ave, Port Huron, 48060, Tel: 810-987-2768/ www.moshers.com

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How do you feel about texting and driving? How do you feel when you’re waiting at a light and someone in front of you is on their cell phone and doesn’t see the light change and remains sitting there? How many tragedies do we hear about because of this problem? In our world of distractions, it is getting more and more common to see this. Will it be the last communication you have with someone on the other end?

How many different ways are we distracted?  Watching people on the road, I have witnessed many people distracted by not only texting and answering cell phones, grooming, eating, drinking, reading, and visiting with others in the vehicle; this is okay to a point, but changing clothes or watching videos, come on! Something as simple as changing a radio station can be a distraction.  You see people searching the car for an item. In all reality, it is the cell phone that causes the most problems!

According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s latest annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, 2,511 licensed drivers 16 and older, 40% of respondents admit they’ve used their phones while driving; nearly a third say they’ve taken the time to send a text or email behind the wheel and 81% responded that this kind of behavior poses a “very serious threat” to their personal safety.  94% of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admitted to doing it anyway.

The average time taken away from watching the road ahead is just five seconds (https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-texting-and-driving), but in that time period, a vehicle traveling at 55 miles an hour can go the length of a football field. With attention distracted, it is like driving blindfolded for those few seconds.

Even pedestrians who text and walk forget to look before crossing the street, crosswalks or obeying traffic signals.  Someone driving distracted may not even see the pedestrian come into the road.

I had a mother call me and tell me how guilty she felt.  She had just called her daughter on the cell phone and the daughter got in a wreck while she was talking to her! She heard everything going on. If we’re not setting the proper example who will be?

There are many new devices coming out that will be able to help with these problems. One to mention is on the new Ford vehicles.  Life 360 app is made for specifically for Ford vehicles, and suspends incoming text messages while you are moving in the car. When the car is stopped the messages flow.  Since none of us are going to give up our cell phones, we need to find ways to help eliminate this serious problem.  There are many other new programs that will help, but until we decide to just quit texting and driving, the problem will remain the same.

How many deaths are caused by distracted driving? There are many good sources with links to this information. I would like to have your opinion on what you think may help to solve the problem. What could be worse than losing a child or friend over a cell phone, but day after day we reach for them in the car every time we hear a text or phone call come in!

I remembered when I first got my driver’s license MANY long years ago.  I had a Popsicle in the car. I was really in the frame of mind that “wow, I can drive now.” Then, after looking down to see where I dropped the wrapper, I looked up and noticed that I was getting too close to the ditch.  As a new driver, I overturned the opposite direction, which left me out in a field after crossing two ditches. In a split second, I was wrecked and could have been seriously injured. Luckily I was out in farm country where there weren’t other vehicles to collide with. Even better, my favorite uncle found me and rescued me. It goes to show how in in the blink of an eye, especially with young drivers, tragedies can happen!

How do you feel, about texting and driving? What is our solution?

If you believe this article can remind others of the dangers of distracted driving- please share! Facebook

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Disclaimer: Blue Water Healthy Living is an online magazine located in Port Huron, Michigan. Our purpose is to promote healthy living by showcasing the Blue Water Area, its people, issues and surroundings. This online magazine is devoted to providing healthy living related stories, local happenings, and commentary. Often inspiring and uplifting, our stories come from our heart and soul to promote the enjoyment of a more fulfilling Blue Water Area lifestyle. The material on this web site is provided for informational and amusement purposes only and is not to be confused with any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions and values of Blue Water Healthy Living.

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