No phone zone

I was channel surfing a few days back and managed to catch a few minutes of Oprah Winfrey Show. Normally I do take some time to see what is the topic of discussion and if it is something of my interest, I watch the whole show. The topic of discussion on that show was ‘Distracted Driving’. I did not move an inch.

Very relevant to me and to countless others. And the stories of some opened my eyes.

A 9 year old girl was run over by a 2000 kg SUV while she was riding a bike in front of her house. Reason: The driver was texting and didn’t see the girl.

A 61 year old women was killed because a 21 yr old man crashed his car into her car because he jumped a red light. Reason: He did not see the red light because he was texting.

A 18 wheeler truck crashed in to a school bus carrying 22 children dragging it nearly 200 feet before bursting into flames. Luckily 21 kids escaped with minor injuries but not all. One girl lost her life. Reason: He was texting and didn’t see the bus.

A 19 year old man deviated his lane and clipped a car on the next lane. Both cars lost control, ended up on the oncoming traffic line and both men were killed instantly. Reason: The 19 year old was texting

Here are some facts for you.

  • Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent. (Source: Carnegie Mellon)
  • 80 percent of all crashes and 65 percent of near crashes involve some type of distraction. (Source: Virginia Tech 100-car study for NHTSA)
  • Nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver, and more than half a million were injured. (NHTSA)

The statistics are shocking. And the most shocking: 1 of 4 road accidents are due to texting!!!

I am a culprit. Have never thought twice before texting while driving. If I need to reply to someone or send a sms or browse the net, I pick up my phone and get on with it, while driving regardless of traffic or speeds or the possible risks associated with it. And now I realize how dangerous it can be.

“I Took The Pledge; Will You? Don’t Tempt F8 — that Txt can W8.”

Take the pledge. Don’t text will driving.