Most Cops I'm sure never really dwelled on Elizabeth Barrett Brownings Sonnett#43. For some reason it has always been in the back of my mind. The opening line "HOW DO I LOVE THEE? LET ME COUNT THE WAYS." It's that gallows humor or cynicism that can can creep into the thoughts of people who are frequently around death by violence. "How can I kill you: let me count the ways." There are guns, knives, bludgeons, poison, ropes, forks, screw drivers, even a boiling pot of cooking oil, the list is endless in ways that humans can and do kill each other. What is surprising is that for the last 9 years another instrument has been added to the list of weapons. The I phone or Cell phone has become an instrument of death. Beginning in 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released figures that have shown that the use of these phones while driving is without question a killer.
Approximately 9 people are killed and over 1,000 people are injured on a DAILY BASIS in the United States, due to distracted drivers. Over 3,450 were killed due to distracted affected crashes. Distracted driving is defined as driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving. Distracted driving can and does increase the chance of motor vehicle crashes. There are 3 main types of distraction.
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road
- Manuel: taking you hands off the steering wheel
- Cognitive: Taking your mind off driving .
Anything that takes your attention away from driving can be a distraction. The most common are sending a text message, talking on a cell phone, using a navigation system and eating. Well hell! who hasn't been there? And yet we still insist. Is it an addiction? Most of us know by now the horrible danger presented and yet the numbers are soaring every year. Check the chart below, a wake up call indeed.
For those who may not be able to read the chart above, it gives the break down of ages of the distracted drivers. The 20 to 29 year olds have the highest rate at 28%,with the 15-19 year olds and seniors from 60 to 70 plus having the lowest at 9%, which makes sense since 15-19 year old have less access to vehicles and many seniors do not have Cell phones or I Phones. YET
Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction. When you send or read a text, you take your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds, long enough to cover the length of a football field while driving 55 miles per hour. There is no doubt that cell phones are too distracting, even for those talented enough to drive and chew gum simultaneously. Reaction times are impeded and your attention is now divided between phone, caller, and the operation of a 5,000 pound or larger vehicle, with a considerable amount of kinetic energy. The danger is not only limited to vehicle passengers. In 2016 562 non-occupants (pedestrians, bicyclists, and others were killed in distracted affected crashes. SINCE 2016 THE NUMBERS IN ALL CATEGORIES HAVE RISEN.
This little item above and several hundred just like it can be had by just ordering them on-line or picked up a store near you. You open it, insert your cell phone and right in front of you on your steering wheel is your text messages, email, or anything else you may want to check out, in some cases while traveling 30 to 70 miles an hour. Is any kind of information worth risking so much death and distraction? Thank God those things don't have second amendment protections, because some day as the slaughter continues, our elected leaders will wise up.
Some States have stricter laws then others for talking on non hands free cell phones while driving, texting in most States is a violation but as we know hardly anyone is paying attention to those laws. Someday while a passenger in a vehicle, look around at the traffic around you, no doubt you will be shocked at the other drivers who without question are distracted, luck will only last for a while, playing with the odds behind the wheel can be disastrous, it's not always the other guy and not you. Cops cannot be everywhere, we have to police ourselves. It will save lives. I'D LIKE TO START A HONK CAMPAIGN. IF YOU SEE A DISTRACTED DRIVER HONK AND POINT. GETTING THE FINGER IS BETTER THEN GETTING KILLED OR MAIMED. Drive safe and be smart.
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