To the editor:
Recently, there was a fatal car accident in the county. It was reported: “Driver distracted by cell phone.” The comments following were generally, “Those kids and their darn phones.” I’m well past the “kid” stage, being part of the AARP crowd, but I’m really tired of “kids on their cell phones” being blamed for every serious accident that happens.
First, it’s not just kids that have cell phones. Statistics say that 96% of the population owns a cell phone. I’m willing to bet that everyone reading this has a cell phone. And that you take it with you everywhere – even in the car! I’m also going to bet that you have taken a call on that phone while driving – I have. I don’t, however, text while driving because, well, I can barely text.
Second, it’s not just kids with cell phones who are driving distracted. My guess is that 80% or more of us are driving distracted, and it’s not just cell phones – It’s YOU putting in an address on your nifty touch screen GPS, or YOU searching for a radio station, or MOM swatting kids in the back seat, or even YOU carrying on a heated conversation with the person next to you. ALL of us are driving distracted. I’m guilty of digging through my purse while I drive.
Driving has become such second nature that we forget we’re operating a 2,000 pound killing machine. Every one of us who gets behind the wheel must remember that driving requires ALL of our attention, ALL of the time. I’m asking you to quit blaming the “kids with cell phones” and remember that you, too, need to focus on the road.