Chicago Sun-Times

On driving while texting

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Just for fun, while waiting on a Blue Line platform today, I counted texters on the Kennedy. Out of 47 cars passing by, I counted five people texting -- actually holding up their devices and typing stuff in while their cars were in motion. One was actually holding the device in one hand, typing with the other hand and steering with her knees. Traffic wasn't that slow, either -- texters were going at least 30 mph while doing this juggling stunt.

On New Year's Day, Illinois became the 19th state to ban texting while driving. It's also now illegal to e-mail while driving or talk on a hand-held cell phone driving in a highway
construction zone or a school zone or to surf the Internet by cell
phone while driving.

Maybe these folks didn't get the memo. Or maybe they realize their odds of getting caught are slim -- and if you don't get caught, it's not wrong, right?

They say God looks after fools and children. He doesn't, actually. Fools crash their cars, sometimes into children. So put the Blackberry down, and drive.

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DON'T TEXT AND DRIVE!!!! I used to text and drive all the time until I rear ended someone and almost tore up my car. I don't want to be the casue of any more accidents and I just couldn't live with myself if someone died because of my carelesness.

Here's my PSA

I work in the transportation sector, and I can guarantee you that there is NO ONE out there who can safely text and drive at the same time. Driving skill is not relevant, because, need I remind you that if you are texting, you are NOT driving. Who cares what your skill level is - you aren't using your skill at that time!

In the industry it's grounds for job termination. Many companies do not offer a second chance on this particular issue. It is considered equal to drunk driving in terms of the seriousness of the offence for many companies in the industry. You want the advice of professionals? It's clearly this: DON'T DO IT.

Sorry to seem harsh, but there's no middle ground on the issue. You can wait a few minutes until you have arrived where you are going, or at least can safely pull over and reply in an urgent situation.

Studies have shown that even hands-free cell phone conversations distract a significant poertion of the driver's attention from driving.

The issue, even more than what your hands are doing is where is your attention focused? If it isn't on your driving, you are creating a safety hazard on the road.

80% percent of all rear end collisions (the most frequent vehicle accident) are caused by driver inattention, following too closely, external distraction (talking on cell phones, shaving, applying makeup, fiddling with the radio or CD player, texting, etc.) and poor judgment. I doubt if we'll ever stop the madness so I got one of these to protect my family and vehicle.

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This page contains a single entry by Mary Wisniewski published on February 25, 2010 12:30 PM.

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