How often have you been in a scary situation on the road where a driver is obviously not paying attention and nearly causes a car crash? How often do you notice soon after that the person was preoccupied with his or her cell phone?
While today’s cell phones are great at keeping us connected and allowing our kids to call us after soccer practice, they are absolutely awful at keeping us aware of what is going on around us in the immediate sense.
There have been efforts across the country recently to crack down on people who are caught texting and driving. Of course, that leads to the complication of defining, “ What is texting?” Is it sending a text message? Is it punching in a phone number? Is it surfing the Internet? It causes complications from a legal perspective and offers wiggle room to violators.
Recently, government bodies have made a push to come down hard on users of these devices to prevent their use while a vehicle is in motion – but only with truck drivers. Yes, these people are responsible for driving particularly powerful vehicles capable of a great deal of destruction, however, it seems odd to only punish a single group of people. Sedans can injure people just as effectively as a semi-truck.
This kind of regulation should be expanded to include all drivers. The facts are in – any use of your mobile device while driving greatly endangers not only you, but also the folks around you.
Already, many GPS devices have built-in systems that prevent the devices from being used while the car is in motion. This is a great method to counteract a dangerous habit. However, it is texting and surfing the Internet that have become the biggest problems as smartphone ownership increases. Fortunately, there are teams of developers aiming to create applications that shut off texting and Internet functions when the phone’s GPS detects it is in motion. These kinds of preventative tools could save the lives of you and your family, by both limiting others’ phone usage and limiting your own usage – a danger that many people ignore.
If a measure comes down the pipeline to place harder restrictions and punishments on distracted driving with mobile devices, just remember that these rules make our roads safe and help ensure your kids get home in one piece.