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Put Down the Phone and Drive: Texting and Driving Takes Lives

2012 September 28

Quite some time ago a familiar slogan was coined by a group of drivers that were fed up with cell phone related automobile wrecks.  “Shut-Up and drive!”   Now the refrain is clearly, “put down the phone and drive.”  It took some time, but finally, at the end of last year, the Federal Department of Transportation issued a regulatory ruling that banned texting while driving in most commercial motor vehicles. In Illinois texting and driving has received scrutiny since at least 2006 when a University of Illinois graduate was struck by a car and killed while the driver of the car was downloading a ring tone.

Numbers do not lie, and the data continues to mount regarding texting and driving.  A study out of Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) showed that for heavy trucks the following activities increased risk by:

  • Dialing Cell Phone, 5.9 times more likely to have a crash
  • Use/reach for an electronic device, 6.7 times as likely
  • Texting, 23.2 times as likely.

Texting-Related Wrecks are Severe

Distracted driving not only increases the numbers of accidents, but increases the likelihood that an accident will be serious.

The reason is simple. When you are attentive, you can take some action – braking or swerving – to lessen the damage. But with distracted driving, the responsible party is often unaware an accident is about to occur. Quite often, these accidents involve striking the rear of a stopped vehicle at full speed or drifting into the wrong lane while distracted. The mental or cognitive impairment is akin to falling asleep at the wheel – much worse even than someone who is driving slightly under the influence of alcohol. Reactions will be slowed, but the distracted driver can completely zone out, allowing the truck to move along on autopilot.

Distracted Driving in Your World

If you or a loved one is a victim of distracted driving in Central Illinois, Please contact Ryan Bradley.  Ryan, has been assisitng those injured in automobile wrecks fir his entire career and is here to assist anybody that has been injured.

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