When Marcus started driving cell phones were around but not with the capabilities they have today. I believe Marcus was 17 when he was given his first cell phone. It was a Nokia model that was heavy as a brick! Back then it was definitely a tool. The minute per minute costs were prohibitive enough that people had cell phones just in case there was an emergency.
Now things are way different! People have their electronic leashes every place they go. Not only do we as parents have to talk to our kids about Drunk Driving, we also have to talk about Road Rage, Car Jacking and Distracted Driving.
But never in a million years did we really think that our we would lose one of our sons to Texting while driving. We have spoken about the dangers of using a cell phone while driving to Marcus before, but he was a young adult and it was up to him to make his own decisions.
And on February 22, 2009 around 5:14 P.M. our son made a fatal decision that we, his family, would be dealing with for the rest of our lives.
These are just quick facts regarding Distracted Driving pulled directly from http://www.distraction.gov/stats-and-facts/ .
WHAT IS DISTRACTED DRIVING?
There are three main types of Distraction.
- Visual - taking your eyes off the road
- Manual - taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive - taking your mind off what you are doing
While all distractions can endanger drivers’ safety, TEXTING is the most alarming because it involves all three types of distraction.
Other distracting activities include:
- Using a cell phone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading, including maps
- Using a PDA or navigation system
- Watching a video
- Changing the radio station, CD, or Mp3 player.
Did You Know?
Research on distracted driving reveals some surprising facts:
Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent. (Source: Carnegie Mellon)
Nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted driver, and more than half a million were injured. (NHTSA)
The younger, inexperienced drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes.
Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
Using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (Source: University of Utah)