Traffic deaths are a public health issue. Too many people die too often when inside a car or due to one. And one of the main reasons for that, nowadays, is distracted driving. Mainly because of people who believe that texting and driving are actions that can be performed simultaneously. Or because they are too lazy to configure a Bluetooth connection in order not to put a phone on the ears with the other one on the steering wheel. That is a killing formula, and a very effective one. It makes your reaction time practically nonexistent.
In order to prevent that in Oregon, the State Police has added 40 unmarked patrol cars to the streets.
In Oregon, there has been a 27% increase in traffic deaths in 2015. Many of them involving a single car that goes off the road for no apparent reason, for example. If you have watched the video above, you will see very little time was needed to find a driver using the cell phone. According to Oregon Live, about 1,500 are convicted every month for doing so.
The unmarked patrol cars tend to make that number increase, since they will make it easier to spot bad behavior at the steering wheel. In Oregon, a police officer can pull you over if you are dealing with a mobile while driving. In most cases, this may the difference between leaving further messages or leaving your existence.
The NHTSA has created the video above and the one right below to promote the campaign “If you’re texting, you’re not driving”, clearly focused on young drivers. Besides their little experience with cars, they tend to get too confident too soon, a huge mistake when it comes to driving.
John Philips, from Car and Driver, has written one of his best columns yet exactly about this and it is luckily available online. He says there are 5.6 million reported crashes in the USA every year, while the unreported ones could be around 16 million. In his words, he’ll ” accept autonomous cars—as if I have a choice—as long as the 5.6 million drivers who are so blasé about crashing are the first occupants and owners”. And isn’t he very right about it?
There is a good reason automakers spend a lot of money developing systems that integrate with mobile phones. And they are not related to giving you the chance to check what has been recently posted on Facebook. It aims to get you from point A to point B safely. When driving, avoid anything that can distract you. If you cannot avoid it, stop the car, solve the problem and keep on going. If you can’t do that, get a cab, a bus, the metro or anything else that does not depend on you to drive. Distracted driving may end up bad in many ways. Keep your phone were it may cause no harm or karma may do so in your place.
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Publicado por Coisas de Pobre em Quinta, 28 de janeiro de 2016