Friday, January 22, 2010

Safer Roads and Saving Lives

I am guilty of doing it (we all are) but it is now time for us to stop. It is a new year and we can do this! We can do better! Oprah suggested it – and I think we should listen to her (after all, it’s what Americans do best). Monday night my sister Heather called and begged me to sign Oprah's No Phone Zone Pledge – which I reluctantly have done and believe you should too.

I will freely admit that I am a text-messager/email-aholic. I even carry BOTH a Crackberry AND an I-Phone with me. It is very hard for me to resist the urge to read and even *gasp here* respond do text messages while I’m in the car. Granted, I generally only do it at red lights but sometimes my thumb doesn't finish fast enough before the light turns green. But you and I know I need to knock it off. It's time, really. And I am urging you to do the same. Here's the deal: if I can do it so can you! Texting/emailing while behind the wheel leads to distraction (duh!), and driver distraction/inattention is the leading cause of car accidents in this country.

Ok, I know that you know this but read these tidbits: EVERY DAY last year over 800,000 people in the U.S. were texting, making calls, or using a cell phone while driving. Distracted driving killed nearly 6,000 Americans last year. But texting/emailing is especially bad. In a study by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute they found that of all cell phone related tasks - including talking, dialing, or reaching for the phone - texting and emailing while driving are the MOST dangerous activities.

I heard a statistic the other day that texting while driving impairs you in the same way that driving with a few beers in you would. Yes, Oprah said it: texting is equivalent to drinking about 4 beers and DRIVING! Crazy! We all know to never drink and drive, so why do we text and drive? Convenience? Maybe. Addicted to connection? Maybe. Worth it? NO. Keep this greeting in perspective I am NOT expecting you to stop talking on your cell in the car (hands free, of course) but I do believe the time has come for all of us to stop with the texting and emailing while we drive. I will do it, and you should too. Together let's SAVE LIVES and make the roads safer.

No comments: