Several weeks ago I was pulling out from a gas station when I observed this lovely sight. A female was piloting a large SUV jerking the wheel back and forth, trying to pull into the station. What I found novel about her driving was that she had a cell phone up to her ear, a cigarette dangling from her mouth, and at the same time was trying to navigate her Yukon into the gas station. What a horse’s ass this lady was. Common sense alone should have told her she should have taken both hands off the steering wheel, one to hold her cell phone and one to smoke her cigarette and she could steer with her knees!
Here is an interesting article that I just read that I wanted to share:
Distracted driving – including the use of a cell phone behind the wheel – resulted in 5,474 deaths in the U.S. last year, the Transportation Department announced Monday.
But while those numbers are similar to the stats seen in 2008, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned that the number could be much higher since police in many states do not currently check to see if distraction was a factor in an accident. Drivers most likely to be distracted, meanwhile, are those under 20.
“Studies show that when a driver looks away from the road to send an e-mail or text message, he or she is concentrating on something other than the road for 4.6 of every six seconds,” LaHood continued. “At 55 miles per hour, that is like driving the length of a football field while blindfolded.”
Though the percentage did not jump from 2008 to 2009, the proportion of fatalities associated with distracted drivers has increased 10 percent since 2005. Overall, traffic fatalities are also at their lowest levels since 1950.
Broken down by age, drivers under 20 are most likely to be distracted. Of the 3,967 drivers under 20 involved in fatal crashes last year, 619 – or 16 percent – were distracted. Of that 16 percent, 138 of those crashes involved cell phones.
At 24 percent, the 30 to 39 age group had the most incidents of fatal accidents involving a cell phone, but other age groups were not far off. Those ages 20 to 29 were at 21 percent, while those 40 to 59 were at 20 percent.
Distracted drivers are a pet peeve of mine and I personally believe that the time has come to outlaw all cell phone use while driving, even hands free. Our brains do not multi-task well behind the wheel of a car while trying to talk on the phone at the same time. I find it hard to believe that this type of distraction continues when we all know what the results could be.
So my question is this. Does anyone care?
PS Be patient for comment approval. I’ll be flying home today after a lovely week’s vacation.