text messaging unsafe when driving

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Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

We’re driving down the road  busy talking on the cell phone, yelling at the driver in front of us and jotting notes on our calendar and then all of a sudden CRASH!!!crash

Driving is a serious task that we exercise daily and whether a new driver or a seasoned one, we all forget the dangers that lurk at all times.

Here are the five worst driving errors–the ones that could kill you or someone else as identified by the insurance industry.

Never Do These Five Things While Driving:

No. 1. Multitasking

When you turn on the car, turn off the gadgets. No matter how busy your day is, when you’re on the road, focus only on driving. Catch up on other activities later and avoid unnecessary accidents.

No. 2. Follow too closely

Count: One thousand one. One thousand two. That’s about two seconds, and that’s the cushion that should be between you and the vehicle ahead. It could not only save your bumper, but also your life. Make sure to double or triple that time when the weather is bad or the pavement is slick.

No. 3. Failure to yield on a left-hand turn

Check the flow before you go. Also, look at the street onto which you are turning to make sure there are no vehicles or pedestrians in your path.

No. 4. Incorrect merging

That yield sign means just that: Yield–not stop. Accidents often occur when you are stuck behind a driver entering a highway who interprets yield as a dead stop. Don’t be the guilty party. Use the ramp as a means for merging into traffic, not causing it to back up.

No. 5. Backing up without looking

You don’t have eyes in the back of your head so look over your shoulder when you put the car in reverse. Remember, objects in the mirror are closer than they appear. Your side and rearview mirrors have a margin of error, so don’t rely on them alone. Look over your shoulder before backing up.


Friday, October 2nd, 2009

If you’re driving the Freeway in heavy traffic, chances are that a driver in the next lane, directly ahead of you or in your rearview mirror is reading or writing a text message, according to recent traffic research.

“If you think you’re safe on the Capital Beltway, think again,” said Lon Anderson, a spokesman for AAA. “We have an epidemic of distracted driving out there.”

Anderson joined Virginia officials and police Monday in the first of several events this week that will address talking on cellphones and text messaging on the nation’s highways. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will host a  seminar on distracted drivers this week  in Washington.

An issue is defined as having  crossed a certain threshold of identification in American culture when it spawns a trunk load of bumper stickers… and cellphone use while driving has achieved that stature. Several recent bumber stickers:… “Hang up and drive,” and “Guns don’t kill people, cellphones kill people.”

Almost 90 percent of Americans own cellphones, and one national survey found that eight in 10 drivers talk on their phones while behind the wheel, about 1 million of them at any given moment. Cellphone use has been cited as a factor in an estimated 342,000 auto accident injuries.

Despite an awareness that distracted drivers are a hazard, many Americans continue to use cellphones and text while driving. When AAA recently studied the habits of Beltway drivers in Virginia, the group found that more than half of drivers used their cell phones on Interstate 495 every day, and a quarter of them send or receive text messages daily.

Anderson said they found that more than half of Beltway drivers are distracted by cellphone use and that those drivers are twice as likely to have an accident or a “near-miss.”

AAA last week urged all state governments to ban texting while driving. It currently is banned in the District and Virginia, while Maryland’s ban will take effect Thursday. The Governors Highway Safety Association, a national nonprofit organization which represents state safety offices, has endorsed a ban on texting and using cellphones for newly licensed drivers.