Islands' Sounder


National distracted driving month | Letter

April 17, 2014 · Updated 4:40 PM

April is National Distracted Driving Month and I’d like to point out that we have a problem in our nation with how and when we use our cellphones.

The next time you travel off island, maybe down to Seattle look at the number of people talking on their cell phones, looking at their phones or texting while they are driving, you will be shocked. Maybe a little scared. It’s called different things, texting and driving or distracted driving.

Whatever it’s called it’s not smart or safe. In fact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that driving a vehicle while texting is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated.  While 15 to 19 year olds make up the largest proportion of distracted drivers, adults aren’t too much better. Forty-seven percent of texting adults have sent or read a text message while driving. Did you know that sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eye from the road for an average 4.6 seconds, the equivalent – at 55 miles per hour – of driving the length of an entire football field, blind? A crash typically happens within an average of three seconds after a driver is distracted. Think about driving the distance of a football field at 55 miles an hour with your eyes closed – no sane person would do it. Yet people continually value a conversation on their phone more than their life and the lives of others.

There is nothing so important to be said or read – that you would need to text or talk on your cellphone while you drive. Be smart, be safe. “DNT TXT N DRV.”

Georgeana Cook

Lopez Island


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