Death By Texting: Driving Distractions On The Road
4.6 Seconds to Death
Little known to most HubPages officianados, I am not only an eccentric oil painter and creative writer, I also teach Driver's Education. That's right, let the demystification begin...now.
Recently, my classroom was visited by newscaster David Douglas from Channel 3 here in Madison. The crew came into my class while we were observing a remotely scientific experiment where I tossed a ball to some of the students. Some of the students were just asked to walk across the room and catch the ball. Others were asked to text and try to catch the ball at the same time. As you can imagine, those that were texting were more distracted, and caught less of the balls and therefore, metaphorically, failed to address risks and obstacles succinctly. The expression of sheer unamusement from one of the students is tantamount to many teenagers attitudes about texting restrictions and text ban statutes.
My students opine the pros and cons of new anti-texting anti-hand-held-device laws. Here in Wisconsin our State became the 25th to ban texting while driving. The laws are set to solidify on Decemeber 1st as the United States Department of Transportation looks to change people's behavior through law, citing the over 6000 people killed due to distraction in the States last year.
The United States Department of Transportation estimates reading an average text lasts 4.6 seconds, at 55 miles per hour, one would travel the length of a football field (including endzones) as though blindfolded, due to texting distraction. These facts paint a gruesome picture.
Texting is a very real problem with all drivers regardless of age
Watch Video Of Ben Zoltak Punctuate The Dangers Of Texting While Driving With His Students
- Driving Schools Trying To Break Students Of Texting Habit - Technology News Story - WISC Madison
MADISON, Wis. -- On the road of life, there are drivers who concentrate on driving and drivers who multi-task. One of the biggest distractions for multi-tasking drivers is texting, but now, a new Wisconsin state law will ban texting while driving sta
Thanks to some encouragment from fellow HubPages writer Jane Bovary, I've decided to create some t-shirts with the "Will this text be your last?" design on it,
- Ben Zoltak's designs can be found at cafepress!!!
If you like Ben's art, here you can find images on prints, shirts and other strange items.
Texting reality versus the legal ideal...
I was recently hit by a distracted driver while two of my students and myself were stopped at a stop sign. The woman who hit us decided to look for the cell phone she dropped while she was turning left. We were completly stopped when she rammed head on into us. Luckily no one was hurt, though our vehicle was totalled.
Some students and adults that I speak with talk about studies (as of yet, I haven't found links to these...) that say that laws banning texting might increase accidents by having drivers hide their texting. My job is to teach students the laws as produced by the Department of Transportation. Although we do engage in forum and dialogue about the pros and cons of everything driving related. A fellow Driving Instructor who was a former Semi-truck driver told me he saw an increase in accidents related to distraction as cell phones became more popular. So for me, for now, the wind blows in the direction of the texting-ban, and that is what I teach. Further studies are warranted though I believe, if in fact, there's any merit to the "text hiding" argument.
As for me, I have been adapting to turning off the volume. It's not easy, and better to be realistic and pull over when it's safe to get the communique done. For those of us who have grown used to texting, it really is a lifestyle change.
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