Car Accidents and Distracted Driving

I ride my bike to work about two times per week. I do it for the exercise, to reduce my carbon footprint and to enjoy the fresh air.  I love it.  One of the unexpected consequences of riding is that I see drivers from a whole different perspective.  I see, for the most part down into their cars and can see what they are doing with their hands.

Let me step back a minute and tell you why I am telling you the above. Distracted driving causes auto accidents. Car crashes cause serious personal injuries such as broken bones, brain injury, spinal cord injuries, and even wrongful death. Serious personal injury causes people to lose time from work and cause the injured person to not be able to provide for their families. All this leads me to conclude that distracted driving is bad and must be avoided. I understand that distracted driving (using the cell phone, texting, et cetera) impairs the drivers attention to the road to the same extent that alcohol impairs a drivers mind resulting in drunk driving collisions. We know that drunk driving is bad, lets also know that distracted driving is bad.

Now let me get back to what I see on my bike. I see drivers doing dumb things including rolling stop signs when children are present. I see people changing lanes without signaling and cutting off other drivers. I see people moving into lanes when there is a car already there. I see drivers turn left out of the right lane. I see much much more. What is the common theme among all these actions, about 60 percent of the people who are making these dumb maneuvers are staring at a cell phone. They think they are clever by holding the phone low in the car so that the police and other drivers can’t see it. They keep looking up and down as if everyone can’t tell what they are doing. While they are doing this they become engrossed in the phone and forget what is on the road near them. God help the rest of us.

What these people are actually saying is this “What’s good for me is good, it does not matter how it affects you or anyone else.” Of course this myth is shattered when they miss a stop sign and kill a family member.

Please do not text and drive.

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