You may have witnessed it yourself. You’re driving down the road and a motorist next to you is on their phone. Not talking, but texting or using social media.
They are on the road to disaster.
No matter how many traffic safety campaigns are rolled out, people are still risking the lives of others and themselves through distracted driving. You have plenty of time to take a selfie when you are not behind the wheel.
Doing so is irresponsible.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers will tell you that they have found drivers killed in a traffic crash still holding their cell phone because they were using it at the time of the tragedy.
Never mind everyday traffic, we have Memorial Day weekend upon us, one of the most traveled holiday weekends.
According to AAA’s 2017 Memorial Day travel forecast for Florida, the total number of Florida travelers will be the largest for the holiday in 12 years. The projected 2.08 million Floridians traveling would be an increase of 66,169 (3.3 percent) from last year.
That’s a lot of families that will be traveling to the beach or a family barbecue. We can only hope that every one of them makes it home safely.
According to FHP, if a car is traveling 50 mph and the driver takes his eyes off the road for just three seconds to look at his phone, he has traveled the length of a football field.
In 2015, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured, in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
During daylight hours, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes, the NHTSA reported.
We believe that it’s unfortunate that using your phone to text or any other activity is only a secondary offense in Florida. Other states have much less tolerance.
For example, in New York, you cannot use a hand-held mobile telephone or portable electronic device while you drive.
If you use a portable electronic device while you drive (except to call 911 or to contact medical, fire or police personnel about an emergency), you can receive a traffic ticket and be subject to a fine and in points being added to your driving record. That’s an effective law.
If you feel that Florida should have the same law, contact your state representative and express your views.
So, put your phones down and drive. Enjoy the beach. Enjoy that burger off grill.
And lastly let’s not forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep this country free and safe.
Happy Memorial Day Osceola County.