Several events came together in a weird way confirming to me that this post just needed to be written.
The picture at the right was taken of the driver in a delivery van that swerved over the midline – in the rain – while I was driving down the street behind him. We got to a light and he has his little phone in his hand texting away.
Then, an aunt of mine (by marriage) and three people in her vehicle, including the 17 year old driver, were recently killed in a terrible car accident. Two others in the vehicle survived with serious injuries. They were traveling late at night and initially police thought that the driver fell asleep at the wheel. After speaking with one of the survivors, they discovered that she was trying to send a text message to a friend while driving down the road at 70 MPH.
I’ve seen my share of serious injuries in the ED resulting from accident victims doing the same thing.
On a news feed that I get, one of the articles this morning was about how the Missouri legislature just passed a bill outlawing those 21 and younger from “Driving While Texting” or “DWT.”
The comment section to the article has many people arguing that there is too much government regulation already. One commenter writes “What’s next? Picking your nose, eating a cheese burger, changing cd’s, maybe even yelling at your kids? And don’t you dare look at the navigation unit that comes from the factory installed on your car!” Some argued that the law needed to be expanded to everyone, not just those less than 21 years old, while others argued that such a law would be unenforceable.
It’s tempting to say that if people who “drive while texting” die or are maimed in a car accident, their injuries are “punishment enough.” Those sentiments don’t take into account the financial toll that their medical care takes upon the families or the government. Nor do those sentiments account for the injuries that distracted drivers cause to other parties when they broadside a minivan because they’re too wrapped up in their text messaging.
For crying out loud, if you’re going to communicate while driving, just call someone already.
Hey BFF … the close up view of a tractor trailer bearing down on your windshield at 70 MPH isn’t a “LOL” moment … U KNOW?