I've never been much of a driver. In fact, I'm much more at ease when someone else is behind the wheel and I'm just a passenger. But, on those occasions where I might decide to drive myself, nothing upsets me more than seeing someone talking or texting on their cell phones while driving. You might be tempted to think this is a big problem just for teenage drivers. But you'd only be partially right because I see lots of teens and grownups yakking or texting away while driving a car. You know this is not a smart thing to do!
Nearly 3,400 Americans lost their lives in 2012 because of distracted driving.
In fact, according to the Federal Department of Transportation, nearly 3,400 Americans lost their lives in 2012 because of distracted driving. Now come on, that's reason enough right there to end this dangerous habit. And oh, back to those teenagers. Among 15-19 year-olds involved in fatal crashes, 21% of those accidents were caused by distracted drivers using their cellphones. I'm telling you, statistics like that make you just want to cry. They're such needless tragedies!
Now, don't get be wrong. I'm not here to harp on you cell phones users, I use them, too. But distracted driving can mean a lot of other things including putting on lipstick, watching a video, paying too much attention to the GPS in you car or, of course, eating while driving. (Any of you guilty of that?) In fact, any of those things could lead to an accident. It takes only a second or two of distraction to result in a serious automobile accident. The problem for teenagers is that they tend to be a little more overconfident when driving a car. They have this feeling of invincibility and that's a recipe for accidents. How can you help?
Well, you should talk to your teenage children or grandchildren about the hazards of distracted driving. Spell out for them the dangers of trying to text or talking on a cell phone can lead to when they're driving. The area where you live may even have laws regarding cell phone usage while driving. Be sure you're aware of them and make your children aware of them, too. (Getting a ticket is bad enough but being involved in an accident is even worse!) And of course, set a good example for your children when they see you driving. Put away that cell phone and other electronic devices when your children are passengers in the car with you. They're more likely to take a cue from mom or dad when they see you practicing good driving habits.
We've got to be wise when using all of the things that technology has to offer.
We live in an amazing age. Computers and technology affect every part of our lives. But we have got to be wise when taking advantage of and using all of the things that technology has to offer. They're supposed to make our lives easier but, remember, it's up to us to use them wisely! Whatever you have to say or text on that cellphone can probably wait until you're safe and sound at your destination. But until you arrive, while you're driving, keep your eyes on the road and please...make very sure your driving-age teenagers do, too!