The new year has literally started off with a bang. I am not sure what is going on but I think that we all need to put our phones away, turn down the music and pay attention.
On January 13th, I was downtown and a woman walked out into traffic while looking down at her phone. She was barely missed by the car that had to speed past her to not hit her. After her brush with death, she put her head back down to look at her screen. I was in shock and said that I was going to make an effort to be more aware.
On January 17th, I was in my house and heard two loud crashes. I ran outside and three cars were involved in an accident.
A young lady going north ran the stop sign. She was not paying attention according to one of the witnesses. There was a car driving west and another car driving east. She was driving in a small car and the other two cars were large. It was broad daylight and she was driving north. No one was hurt badly but it was a very disturbing situation. She
was driving while distracted.
According to www.distraction.gov, distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:
• Using a cell phone or smartphone
• Eating and drinking
• Talking to passengers
• Reading, including maps
• Using a navigation system
• Watching a video
• Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
But, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.
A 2015 Erie Insurance distracted driving survey reported that drivers do all sorts of dangerous things behind the wheel including brushing teeth and changing clothes. The survey also found that one-third of drivers admitted to texting while driving, and three-quarters saying they’ve seen others do it.
Please take note and ask yourself, does any of this sound familiar? It really is not worth it. I know that we cannot change how others drive but we can remind ourselves of what to be on the lookout for.
Believe it or not, about 9 hours later on January 17th, my neighbor was rear ended while making a right hand turn into his driveway.
The sound of crunching metal is something that chills you to the bone. The other driver tried to take off and my neighbor stopped him by being dragged down the street, hanging on to the window and successfully getting the keys from him.
Just be careful out there. Avoid a crisis if you can.
This was printed in the January 22, 2017 - February 4, 2017 edition.