By Chris Conroy
KFVS12 Vice President and General Manager
There's a lot of selfishness taking place in cars these days. Look around the next time you're at a stoplight or while driving on Heartland roadways. More people than are willing to admit, based on my unscientific observation, are reading and typing on their cellphones while driving. A selfish choice that can, and has, resulted in the unnecessary death and injury of others.
Here are some "wake-up" statistics to reinforce why you should not be looking at your phone the next time you drive:
- According to a University of Utah study, cellphone users are 5.36 times more likely to get into an accident than undistracted drivers.
- The Virginia Technical Transportation Institute found that text messaging increases the risk of a crash or near-crash by 23 times.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shared that when driving a car at 55 mph, if you look at your phone for only five seconds, you will have traveled the equivalent of an entire football field with your eyes not on the road.
- For the parents reading this editorial, what you do matters. A University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute study found that teens whose parents drive distracted are 2 to 4 times as likely to also drive distracted.
Okay, I think you get the point that at one time or another, all of us are guilty of putting ourselves and others at great risk for harm. The good news is we can stop doing it today and encourage others to do the same. If you're looking for help in the creation of a strong message, I would encourage you to log onto EndDD.org. There you will find information from a dedicated organization started by a father who lost his own daughter at the hands of someone driving distracted.
Making the unselfish choice today, keeping your eyes on the road and your phone out of your hands makes this A Better Heartland.