Driving in the Age of Technology

329 people died in Iowa due to traffic accidents in 2017. Iowa saw a drop in road fatalities this year. … That’s a substantial decrease from 2016, when the DOT recorded 398 road fatalities. The downward trend in traffic deaths comes after a jump between 2015 and 2016(01/01/18 Des Moines Register).

Well, we are doing better. But can’t we improve even more? What is it about that phone that demands our attention when we’re driving? If you were alive and functioning before the advent of the cell phone, conversation would often start and end with, “I’ll call you later.”

And that was that. It would and could wait. But now, when that phone beeps or buzzes while we’re driving, we think nothing of picking it up and taking a look, and maybe even texting a return–while we are driving. And that’s dangerous.

The usual response I get when I tell someone that is,”Hey! I’m not hurting anyone, and I can drive and text at the same time.”

Yep. You can. And it’s the equivalent of driving at 1 1/2 times over the legal alcohol limit. Weird, huh? It’s like saying you can drive drunk. With the phone;however, you don’t feel drunk, but your reaction time is considerably less than if you were giving your full attention to your driving.

The facts are clear. The evidence is frightening. If the truth be told, some recent and horrific accidents were probably due, in part to distracted driving.

And what we aren’t considering is that while we are on our phones, driving; we could veer into the oncoming lane of traffic and run head on into  someone who was minding her/his own business; someone who was not texting, not talking on the phone; but now is a victim of our selfish and so called ‘need’ to be doing something that not only affects us, but now has involved someone else–all because we wouldn’t heed the warnings—texting, talking on the phone, and driving is a recipe for nothing any of us wants to have happen.

Please. Be careful. Be responsible. Stay alive.