Hang up and drive


I don’t like to date myself, but I can remember a time when there were no mobile phones. If you needed to make a phone call while driving, you had to get off the road, find a phone and make a call.

Back then, “texting” was nonexistent.

Nowadays, it seems the vast majority of people behind the wheel are using a mobile communications device - and that scares me.

The National Safety Council estimates at least 28 percent of all traffic crashes - or at least 1.6 million accidents each year - involve drivers using cell phones and texting.

That equates to 6,000 deaths and 500,000 injuries a year.

A recent Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study of commercial drivers found the following:

- A safety-critical event is 163 times more likely if a driver is texting, e-mailing or accessing the Internet.

- A truck driver texting while driving is 23.2 times more likely to get into an accident than a trucker paying full attention to the road.

- A truck driver dialing a cell is 5.9 times more likely to crash.

- A trucker reaching for a phone or other device is 6.7 times more likely to experience a truck accident.

- For every 6 seconds of drive time, a driver sending or receiving a text message spends 4.6 of those seconds with their eyes off the road.

Are you concerned now?

Think about those statistics the next time you get behind the wheel.