Hands Off: Why texting and driving can be as dangerous as driving drunk

  • Published
  • By Maj. Steve Nelson
  • 301st Fighter Wing Safety
I can remember the day when my dad would get a cold beer before driving to the store to pick up something for mom.
Back in the 70's there were no open container laws, so as long as you were not intoxicated, it was perfectly legal. I can now envision a day when our children will remember when we used our handheld cell phones to text and call our friends while driving.
Am I really making similarities between drinking and driving and cell phone and texting use? You bet. In both cases you are making a conscious decision to dive impaired.
In the US alone there were 11,000 drinking and driving fatalities in 2008. During the same year there were over 6,000 cell phone distraction related deaths.
I am not going to cite a bunch of numbers and studies here, but there is research to support that individuals talking/texting while driving are more dangerous than individuals with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .1%.
Take a look around the next time you are in your car. How often do you see other drivers 5 mph below the speed limit or weaving all over their lane just to discover it is some idiot texting on their cell phone? Now how often do you check your E-Mail/text on the way to work? If you do, you are now that idiot.
Just remember when you drive while distracted you can be charged with negligent homicide punishable by 90 days in jail. If you drive while distracted and you cause injury to another person you are up to 6 months in jail and if you kill someone it is 15 years in jail. Is answering that text worth your career, your freedom or someone's life?
After watching this video I now turn my cell phone off before getting into my car: ut.zerofatalities.com/
(Note: Almost all states have laws against cell phone use in a school zone. If involved in a car accident almost all states will check your cell phone to determine if you were distracted at the time of the accident )
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