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Distracted Driving

Texting in the carDistracted driving is a very hot topic right now.  There is video on most news programs of teens doing everyday things in the car.  They are talking on the phone, texting, changing the radio station, talking to their passengers or eating.  These are everyday occurrences at all other times, but can be deadly when combined with driving a motor vehicle.

We all do these things while we drive.  Didn’t you enjoy a coffee this morning on your way to work?  How about that sausage, egg and cheese sandwich?  Were you a distracted driver?  And don’t we all take a cell call while we are driving?  You still have on hand on the wheel and you’re looking ahead, how bad can this be?  There have been studies that show if you are engaged in a conversation, either on the phone or with a passenger, your mind isn’t fully on the road.  Even singing along to your favorite song can be a distraction.  People tend to drive faster when singing along to their favorite tunes.  What about putting on makeup?  Yes, there are people who do that. 

Most of us think of distracted driving as doing something that takes your eyes off the road.  And that is certainly true.  Looking away from the road to your radio to dial up a different station has caused many accidents.  And I think we can all agree that texting is a truly dangerous habit to get into.  Not only are you looking at a phone screen, you are typing.  It’s extremely difficult to keep your car from veering left or right when you’re texting.  Another very distracting thing in the car is a video.  Many cars today have a screen in the dashboard that will play movies or videos.  How can you drive if you’re engrossed in “The Walking Dead” season two?

States are trying to keep up with all the technology we now use that will cause drivers to pay less attention to their driving skills.  It’s easy to make a law regarding this, but very difficult to enforce.  Most times people stop the activity when a police officer is spotting and continue when they are out of the officer’s sight.  Most times, as a matter of fact, an officer won’t know if you are distracted by something until it’s too late, until you’re in an accident.  Is it worth it to change that channel, answer that text or take that call?  Not when your life or someone else’s is at risk.  Those things can wait.  Pay attention when driving.