One of the worst problems among drivers today is distracted driving; those who are doing everything and anything behind the wheel of their automobile, except paying attention to the road. All too often we end up behind someone who is driving erratically, swaying side to side, or speeding up when they should be decreasing speeds…it’s become more dangerous than ever. In fact, there are people that are so distracted behind the wheel… that the number of citizens being struck while walking has increased immensely, not to mention the driver who then flees the scene after doing so. It’s incomprehensible at how individuals can actually do this, and my heart hurts for those families. Distracted driving has become a real hazard in todays’ world, and we must find a way to alleviate this ongoing problem.
The number one problem is cell phones, as people continue to manipulate their electronic devices while on the road. Texting is absolutely the worst distraction on our highways, giving in to some of the most deadly crashes ever. But for whatever reason, so many continue to do this. In a 2015 survey by Erie Insurance, it was found that people not only brush their teeth while driving, but also change clothes! I couldn’t believe that people admitted to doing this, but my thoughts… “What are you thinking!?” Changing clothes while driving is not normal behavior, and will distract others on the road as well. It’s obvious that we need to educate everyone on road etiquette, and beginning with our teens, we should make sure all of the schools take a hand at this; educating new drivers so they can form better habits. It’s clearly an investment that needs attention. So while we educate those beginners, let’s not forget the elders. Today as I drove behind an elderly gentleman, I couldn’t help notice his increasingly slow speeds and head faced down into his lap. Then as the light turned red, he almost went through it, but instead slammed on the brakes…while continuing to put his head down. I actually shouted at him asking him to please put down the phone, but he obviously didn’t hear me. What I do know… is that this man will most likely be the cause of an accident in the future, if he continues his bad habits while driving. Maybe the DMV should require taking a ‘safety class’ for those after the age of 65. I wouldn’t mind once I became that age, what’s the harm? Nothing at all, and it’d be a great way to brush up on our road rules. It’s evident that these problems will go on, unless the government starts implementing some new rules (or laws) as to our roadways, and should begin with cell phone issues. If you don’t have hands free devices set up while driving, well then I guess you won’t be talking, texting or messing with that device at all. Also, for those that do ‘other’ things while driving, such as changing clothes…you are endangering the lives of everyone on the road, and should be fined accordingly. It’s sad that so many people don’t take these issues seriously, but in lieu of the many pedestrians that have had their lives altered because of a hit & run … there needs to be change, and these drivers need to be found and charged; senseless crimes on the road, and too many deaths. For those of you interested in implementing change for our roads, you can find ways to help at www.distraction.gov/index.html or tell someone who might be able to help. Employers are also encouraged to be a part of this movement. Let’s be a part of something positive, and bring change to our lives…you never know, you just might save one.
Make your week count.