A Resolution to save lives, including your own!
LIBERTY, January 2, 2015 - While eating more fruits and vegetables and parking as far away from the supermarket as possible will help improve your health in 2015, here’s a resolution that can impact the lives of others, as well as your own life. Make a resolution in 2015 to put down the phone when you are driving and to not drive distracted! While all notions of self-improvement have their value, driving is one area where our actions can affect not only ourselves but other drivers and passengers on the road. Motor vehicle crashes continue to take their toll. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2013 there was an increase in the number of crashes caused by distracted driving – especially fatal crashes caused by cell phone use.
Cell phones are a major distraction, but not the only distraction to drivers. Adjusting radios and GPS devices, loose pets, eating in the vehicle, and applying makeup are just some of the other distractions in your car. However, research shows that texting is among the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. Sending or reading an average text takes drivers’ eyes off the road for 4-5 seconds. That means at 55 miles per hour, a texting driver would travel the length of a football field without looking at the road – as if blindfolded! That’s something none of us would consciously consider doing! Any time you take your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road, and especially your mind off your driving, you put yourself, your passengers, and others on the road at risk.
“Making a resolution to not drive distracted in 2015 can very well mean saving a life!” said Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Agent, Alexis Cordova. Some of the leading causes of traffic deaths are distracted driving, impaired driving, and people not wearing seat belts. Resolve to give driving your full attention, and protect yourself and others on the road. Although young drivers are at greatest risk from distraction, parents and other adults should set the example by not using a cell phone in the car.
Follow the Governors Highway Safety Association’s tips to prevent distracted driving (http://www.ghsa.org):
Make 2015 the year you quit the distraction habit and help save lives on our roads! And while you’re at it buckle up and live!