Experts now call distracted driving an epidemic because incidents that end in gruesome accidents across the country are becoming more and more common as a result of people looking at their phones while driving.
Distracted driving can come in many forms, not just through the use of a cellular phone to text. Talking to other people in the car, eating, changing radio stations, or even talking on hands free devices all pull attention away from the road.
One of the most vulnerable populations is teenagers, who are already at a heightened risk of being involved in an accident. Parents of teen drivers can help their newly minted drivers be aware of the risks of texting and driving, but also all forms of distracted driving. Doing so may just save their own life, and also the lives of others on the road, like those in passenger vehicles, pedestrians, and even cyclists across Texas.
Sadly, family members every day have to say goodbye to loved ones who have perished as a result of a distracted driving incident. No matter what the cause, it’s hard to grieve and move on when you know that your loved one’s death was completely preventable and senseless. There is no phone call or text that is worth a life lost.
There has been a spike in the number of laws dedicated to the distracted driving issue. Around the country, but also right here at home in Texas, lawmakers have been considering regulations that will hopefully deter behavior and cut down on the number of terrible auto accidents that are claiming these lives.
Even though 1 in 5 crashes in the state of Texas can be linked directly to distracted driving, Texas is one of only a handful of states that does not have a ban on texting at the wheel. Other states, like Oklahoma, Montana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Arizona are also catching flak for failing to respond to this growing problem on their roads.
The argument, according to lawmakers, is whether or not it’s a violation of personal freedoms for legislators to mandate that drivers put their phones down or face serious consequences. A measure to ban texting and driving already came through Texas several years ago, but it was vetoed by Governor Rick Perry who believed that the measure was “government micromanagement.”
It’s not as though nothing has been done, however. Texting and driving is banned in school zones and cities are allowed to pass bans as they wish, but no statewide measures have been successful yet at cutting down on the practice. Several cities, like Austin and San Antonio, have already shown some initiative in banning the practice, allowing police to write tickets for those who are caught texting behind the wheel.
It is important that we all do our part by putting our phones down while driving, and urging others who are driving to do the same. It only takes a split second for tragedy to strike. Once it does, there is no going back. Please think twice about your safety and the safety of those around you on Texas roadways and let’s bring this epidemic to a halt.
To learn more about what you can do to make a difference, download my free EBook, Distracted to Death, today.