Alex Brown age 17, Xzavier Davis-Bilbo age 5, Casey Feldman age 21, Erica Forney age 9, Ashley Johnson age 16 and Kassey Kerfoot age 18 all lost their lives as a result of distracted driving related crashes. I use the word crash intentionally; clearly, these incidents are preventable and as such are not accidents.
Subject matter experts have identified three primary types of distracted driving:
Manual, this involves taking your hands off of the steering wheel.
Visual, this involves taking your eyes off of the road.
Cognitive, this involves taking your mind off driving.
The laws that have been enacted, in nearly every state, seem to focus on the use of cellular telephones. Researchers exploring various aspects of distracted driving have identified many other contributing factors, which lead to distracted drivers.
How many of these are you familiar with? Eating or drinking while driving, grooming while driving, passengers, reading (including maps), GPS and other navigation equipment, watching a video, and surfing the internet.
I ask each of you, have you ever done any of the aforementioned activities while driving or witnessed them as a passenger? Recent research suggests that many people have become so accustomed to answering their cellular telephone, replying to text messages and reading emails on their Smartphone during their normal daily routine, that they actually answer or look at them while driving out of habit and not as an intentional criminal act an interesting twist on what is quickly becoming a more deadly activity.
A lot of research is being done on distracted driving and it is rapidly becoming more problematic for those on or near roadways. This is the first in a three-part series on distracted driving I am hopeful that, through education and awareness, you will become a more attentive driver.
The roll call of those that have lost their lives continues: Heather Learch age 19, Brittanni Montgomery age 19, Calli Ann Murray age 2, Cady Reynolds age 16, Joe Teater age 12 and Margay Schee age 13…
Until next month, stay safe!