- Car Safety & Safe Driving
texting or talking on the phone while driving
Texting while driving accident
This topic has become near and dear to my heart and is something everyone should consider before doing it. Texting while driving. It has become against the law to do so in a lot of states including the one 1 I live In (Michigan) with a particularly high fine for a 1st time offense. It has been said that it is going to be very hard to prove it unless a police officer ACTUALLY sees you doing it. So people continue to do so, with the hope of not getting caught.
Why is it near and dear to me? My husband is a Professional Truck Driver. I have ridden with him on numerous occasions and have witnessed myself the texting that goes on throughout the States. Not just texting, but people on the phone in general and the dangers involved.
What I actually witnessed
Have you ever actually watched someone talking on the phone while driving? Of course you have, their speed will fluctuate usually slowing down well below the posted speed limit. They may swerve to the center, but more than likely they will cross over the right white line and ride there for a while. You may say to yourself, “so what I’m not crossing over into on coming traffic, what is the harm?” That white line is there for a reason, to keep you in your lane. My biggest fear when driving is seeing someone walking or riding a bicycle on the side of the road and seeing someone texting or talking on the phone hitting that person.
A few years ago I was driving on an intrastate highway, the person in front of me was swerving erratically going from one side of the lane to another, riding on the edge of the road, past the white line. Her speed was fluctuating terribly going from 35 to 70. I followed her for about as long as I could stand. As I passed her I noticed that she was talking on the phone, she was an older lady maybe 10 years or so older than I. I told my daughters “She is going to cause an accident”. I went on about my way yet she stayed behind me. I came to my turn, and noticed that she was coming upon me fairly fast. There was a vehicle turning left in front of me, I too was turning left. Another vehicle was sitting at the stop sign to my right waiting for the opportunity to go. As the laws in my State are written, vehicles are not allowed to pass on the right unless otherwise stated.
I told my daughters “Look, here comes the accident!!” I has just turned left, the lady in front of me turned left at the same time. The lady coming behind me crashed into the lady turning left and they all plowed into the innocent car sitting at the stop sign. I stopped to make sure everyone was alright. Thank God, no truly serious injuries happened. The police officer refused to hear my accounting of the accident and wanted to blame the lady turning left, who was hurt more than anyone. She got her day in court and when the Magistrate called me to ‘testify’ over the phone (yep, new to me too) I was able to recount exactly what happened, saving the accused a huge fine.
Do we really know what caused this? Big trucks just don't 'turn over'. Of course it might 'ruin' someone elses weekend.
How many death markers will you count on your way home?
Down the road from me on the same intrastate highway a young man age 18 was having an argument on the phone with his mother. He didn’t pay attention to the road and was involved in a head of collision. He didn’t make it. Can you imagine the guilt his mother has to carry for the rest of her life?
When traveling through Phoenix this past April I watched 99% of the people either talking on the phone or texting. They have cameras on the roadway through Phoenix to take snapshots of people driving, yet this doesn’t deter them from using their phones while driving.
Due to my witnessing this I decided to count ‘death markers’ on the road. Between Phoenix Arizona and my hometown in Southwest Michigan I counted over 300 markers/crossed and wreaths just on MY side of the road. I did not count those going the other way, even though there were a lot.
About 1:11 seconds into video - watch
If the driver had not had this camera mounted on the dash of his truck, he would have been held responsible for this accident.
What a driver does - every day
Everyday that my husband drives he is taking his life into his own hands with the careless drivers on the road. Because of his license, if he should get into an accident, he will be held responsible. The law says that he is a Professional and as such, should be able to avoid such things as accidents. For instance, if you are texting or talking on the phone as you are driving next to his front wheels, should you veer into his blind spot and be run over, he will be blamed. How is this ‘just’? It isn’t, but it’s the Law, and unless there are witnesses to say that you were doing something wrong he will be blamed.
There are organizations out there that scream justice MADD (Mother‘s Against Drunk Drivers) , MATT (Mother’s Against Tired Truckers). Where is the organization for careless drivers that cause accidents with Truckers? Let me ask this, should you or someone you know cause an accident with a trucker and it is determined to be his fault, because he is a Professional and no other reason, are you planning on supporting his family? The Fraternal Order of the Police and Firefighters have policies in place to help the families should the life of one of these brave workers be lost, there is no such policy for the Truck driver.
Please think - The life you may save may be my Huband
Why he does it
Family - While you get to go home from work tonight and spend time in the back yard with your children, remember the truck driver. He is on the road, away from his family missing all the activities that you enjoy, soccer games, baseball games, movie night and dinner. He is missing watching his children grow missing time with his wife, who keeps the home fires burning. Why does he do this? Well for one, it’s a job. For another someone has to bring you your toilet paper, your dog food, your canned goods, your lumber, your office furniture all of your needs are delivered by a Professional Truck Driver.
Keep the Truck Driver in your prayers, they may seem brash at times (he/she talks like a truck driver) but keep in mind they are sitting in their truck by themselves, with only the radio or CB to keep them company. They do their best to see everything and though they are larger than life they will try to stay out of your way. There have been many occasions when a driver has given his life to prevent taking yours. Please think about the family he may leave behind when you are driving. They can’t control what goes on in your vehicle, that will be up to you. Texting or talking on the phone while you are driving can not only end your life, but also the lives of others!
Drive Safe and be careful out there!!