Yes, we know it's dangerous, but we still text and drive

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Eustis woman, 19, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor vehicular homicide in a plea deal after her can ran a stop sign, slamming into another vehicle and killing a 59-year-old passenger in that car and seriously injuring her husband, 64, the driver.

Authorities say the younger woman was likely distracted by a text message moments before running the stop sign.

She pleaded guilty after prosecutors reduced the charge from a felony.

The case illustrates what can happen, in a split second, during an activity most of us, admit it, are guilty of participating in.

Driving a car and using a smartphone are two of the most mundane pastimes of modern American existence, but combining the two is dangerous.

State Farm says a survey shows there’s good news and bad news as we approach one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

“The good news is that when it comes to using a phone while driving, we've seen only small increases in risky behaviors,” said State Farm spokesman Jim Camoriano. “The bad news is that with this year's survey, we’re finding that drivers are taking more pictures and recording more videos than they did in the past. Drivers want to share what they see while traveling.”

With 91 percent of drivers owning a smartphone, it’s not a small issue.

According to the survey:

50% talk on a hand-held phone

35% text while driving

29% access the internet while driving

26% read email behind the wheel

21% respond

22% access social networks

23% take pictures

14% record video

93% talk to passengers

23% attend to children

21% attend to pets in the car

People who responded to the survey admitted using their phone while driving, even while acknowledging it’s distracting and can lead to a crash.

Asked why, they said they used their phone to improve efficiency in getting work done, stay in touch, search the Internet, capture something they saw — and simply because it’s a habit.

They also said using a phone helps them keep awake or from being bored while driving.

Really? Staying wide awake but not watching the road doesn’t seem like much of an improvement.

State Farm offers an effective “2N2: rule: Always keep 2 eyes on the road and 2 hands on the wheel.

If you, and all the other drivers on the road, observe the same rule, we’ll all be more likely to reach our Memorial Day destinations safely.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: