The other day I was traveling on a major highway as I was heading to a shopping center. I had five teenagers with me – my own four kids and a significant other. We were in the middle lane and the mini-van in front of us was slowly drifting. It would drift a bit right then correct, a bit left then correct. Sometimes it would go slightly over the line, sometimes a lot. Years ago I would have assumed that the person driving might have been drinking. This time I said to my car full of teens “I bet this person is texting and driving – watch them”. The teens acknowledged quickly that the car was definitely all over the place. I decided to speed up and pass this vehicle (much safer for us to have her behind us than in front of us). As we passed her, sure enough, this middle-aged looking woman was texting. I honked and we all stared at her as we passed. I hope she got the point. And yes, sure, maybe she was texting a dying relative, telling a sick child she was “on her way” to get them from school, or solidifying the best business deal of her life…but, in the end, she was being selfish, insensitive and unsafe. Not to mention was breaking the law. If anything was more important in that moment then her need to drive her car safely then she needed to pull off the highway, deal with the issue and then continue on her way.
The benefit I have is that I work with people who may have been injured by their own “it won’t happen to me” mentality, or by others that have caused horrible accidents driving like this. So, I drive with heightened awareness. And people I am sorry, but it is pretty obvious what you are doing when your head is anywhere but forward while you are operating a vehicle. I see several people a day texting or holding a phone to their ear while behind the wheel. It is still COMMON.
I fully support these New Laws for Distracted Driving. I also would support any opportunity to have a passenger in my car take a photo or video of a distracted driver to post online or to fire off to Crime Stoppers to deter this type of behavior. I agree that “no text is worth a life” – even your own.
Results from an ongoing study on texting and driving by the Sudbury District Health Unit and Laurentian University have produced scary results, but researchers are optimistic these results put them closer to improving strategies to reduce this dangerous behaviour. Research shows: “They admit to doing it, but they feel bad about doing it, they know it’s wrong and they don’t feel safe when someone else is texting and driving. Learning that information gives us a bit of leverage to empower passengers to stand up and say, ‘No, this is wrong,’ against their peers.” Learn more about this research and the ongoing efforts to reduce texting and driving in the following article from the Sudbury Star.
It’s the newest and biggest craze in the digital world—Pokémon GO. An app that lets you play a video game, but gets you off the couch and out of the house. While there are health benefits to this new game, as discussed in the following from Forbes Magazine, there are dangers that must be taken into account. We remind you that distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of automobile accidents and that pedestrian deaths are on the rise in our cities. We encourage you to get out and reap the health benefits, but be cautious of your surroundings and NEVER play while driving.
Did you know that 40% of Acquired Brain Injuries are the result of an automobile accident? And, that texting while driving is basically like driving with your eyes closed for 5 full seconds? Distracted driving is a major cause of injury and fatalities on our roads. What better way to celebrate Brain Injury Awareness month than to take the pledge today. Say I Don’t to texting and driving by visiting idont.ca created by the Ontario Brain Injury Association.
Texting and driving has become one of the leading causes of accidents in Ontario. Take a look at the following from Pace Law Firm as they discuss this growing problem and how tougher laws that could help reduce distracted driving may be coming our way.
Did you know that “texting while driving is the same as driving blind for 5 seconds at a time.” (VA. Tech Transportation Institute)
Last month on the blog we discussed the dangers of texting and driving in our post “LOL…OMG…RIP” and during Brain Injury Awareness Month we felt it was important to reiterate the dangers of distracted driving. The Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA), has launched a website dedicated to the prevention of texting and driving. Check it out and sign the pledge to never text and drive.