Wow what a crazy world we live in! You hear about it, you see so many people playing it, you wonder how many people are going to get hurt doing it. Yep, I’m talking about the newest craze – Pokémon Go. I was talking with my sons the other day and they mentioned a friend getting beat up and his phone stolen while playing Pokémon go. This was right here in our town! You see people walking while texting and they walk right out into traffic. You see people at virtually every red light on their phone. You can’t be on the road and not notice someone looking at their mobile device. As I was driving down to the Twin Cities the other day with my wife, the semi in front of us kept drifting into our lane. I looked at her and said “do you think he is drunk?” As we were able to pass him, my wife noticed he was looking at his phone. That’s 80,000 lbs of distracted steel!!! An accident just waiting to happen.
This led me to the topic of this month’s blog.
Cellular Safety and the facts.
Let’s talk facts for just a minute.
- 1 out of 4 car accidents in the US are caused by texting while driving.
- Each year, over 330,000 accidents caused by texting while driving lead to severe injuries. This means that over 78% of all distracted drivers are distracted because they have been texting while driving.
- Texting and driving is 6 times more likely to get you in an accident than drunk driving. That’s right, it is actually safer for someone to get wasted and get behind the wheel than to text and do it, but please don’t do that either.
- Every day, 11 teenagers die because they were texting while driving.
- Teen drivers have a 400% higher chance of being in a car crash when texting while driving than adults.
- 48% of kids in their younger teenage years have been in a car while the driver was texting. Over 1600 children in the same age group are killed each year because of crashes involving texters.
- Over 2.5 million people in USA involved in road accidents each year. Of these, 1.6 million have a cell phone involved in them. That’s 64% of all the road accidents in the United States. Over half the road accidents in the United States have cell phones involved, and if this doesn’t make you realize just how potent it is, what will?
- According to a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving blind at 55-mph for the length of an entire football field.
If none of these arguments are compelling enough for you, “Google” texting and driving and watch some of the videos online of the consequences. There are both demonstrations and real life examples of lives torn apart. We want everyone on the road to be as safe as possible.
I know we have all heard the message “Stop the texts, stop the wrecks”. As a parent my worst nightmare would be for my kids to get hurt or cause someone else to be hurt by being distracted while driving. I know I am going to make a promise to myself, and I hope you will too.
No more will I text and drive. The risk is just too great!
Please take the time to chat with your friends and family (face to face) about how important it is to not text and drive. As long as you are doing that, consider the whole picture and discuss not using your phone at all while driving.
The life you are saving might be your own!