Distracted driving
by Gary Torres
Aug 31, 2011 | 6194 views | 0 0 comments | 1165 1165 recommendations | email to a friend | print

If you are reading this and driving, you are distracted.  As crazy as that sounds, that is exactly what many people are doing, only they are using their phones to type and read. 

It sounds kind of crazy when you say it like that…hmmm…typing and reading and driving.  Duh! 

There is a web site, www.distraction.gov that you should all check out; however, not on your I-phone while driving. 

The web site is about being distracted, and who better to talk about distraction but the government, I mean they can’t even stay focused long enough to pass a budget.

In a meeting in August, the Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez talked about a program called Safe Routes to School, which was helping create no phone zones.  The program gets parents and kids to sign pledges stating they would not use their cell phones while driving in school zones.

The statistics are staggering; in 2009, 22 percent of injury-related automobile crashes were caused by distracted driving. 

There were 5,474 people killed on the U.S. roadways due to distracted driving; nearly 450,000 people were injured.  There are now 34 states that have enacted bans on texting while driving.

A few months ago, I too was the victim of distracted driving.  I was at a stop light waiting for the light to turn green and I could see in my back-view mirror a teenage girl texting and closing fast. 

I was in a panic and I looked side to side to see if I could punch it across, but there was too much traffic.  The distance kept closing, she wasn’t slowing down, and I was getting a very distressed and so I kind of crunched up waiting for it to happen. 

It did, fortunately she looked up just seconds before she plowed into me so she hit her brakes, but it was too late. 

Wham! There went $500 of deductible off my back bumper since of course she didn’t have insurance either.  Apparently, she was too distracted to remember that you are supposed to have insurance.

I have to admit I was scared watching her car speed toward me texting to her friend about how mad her mom was going to be because she was going to be late for school again. 

Part of the panic was knowing I couldn’t do anything to prevent it. 

We always think accidents are going to happen to someone else. 

I was seeing visions of whiplash and Dr-M and me spending lots of quality time together. 

After parts went everywhere, she gets out of her vehicle, in the middle of traffic by the way, and runs up to me to see if I was all right. 

She said, “I’ll call 911. I have a phone.”
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