Today as I was driving down the streat the light turned red and the car to my left ran through the light. I saw them comming fast in my rear view mirror, and looked as they passed by. The driver was young and text messaging, or dialing her phone as she past me, never noticing the light had changed.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), for every two seconds that a driver's eyes stray away from the road, he/she is twice as likely to have an accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also claims that driver inattention is the leading contributing factor in most crashes or near-miss accidents in the United States.
Of all crashes, 80 percent (and 65 percent of near-crashes) involve driver inattention within a three-second window of the incident. The moral of the story: when motorists change radio stations, try to read maps or talk on cell phones, they are putting themselves and others at risk.
The latest danger to hit the roadways in recent years is texting while driving. AAA claims that texting requires a motorist's full attention, which obviously affects their attention to the road. This is a concern not just for normal motorists; many occupational drivers have been involved in roadway crashes that have taken the lives of others. These drivers were texting while driving on the job. Here are some examples:
- A Boston trolley driver missed a red light while texting his girlfriend and smashed into another trolley. This accident injured 50 people.
- A Florida truck driver killed two young women when he hit their vehicle because he was texting.
- An attorney in Nevada rolled his company-issued SUV because he failed to pay attention due to texting.
Many states have laws outlawing the use of cell phones and texting while driving.