When you are driving, you don’t necessarily notice this because you are busy driving and trying to avoid being hit by drivers who are not paying attention. But believe me, people everywhere are texting while driving.
Recently, our family went downtown to a Thrashers hockey game. Like many other couples, I am not allowed to drive when my husband is in the car, so I was people watching amidst terrible Atlanta rush hour traffic.
It took well over an hour to get to Philips Arena, so I had plenty of time to do an informal poll about how many people text while driving as well as those who are talking on their cell phone without a hands-free device.
It was unbelievable. My estimate is that three out of four drivers were texting or talking on their cell phones.
Statistics say that 80 percent of car accidents are caused by driver distraction. Nothing could be more distracting than reading and then responding to a text message. In addition, young drivers, whose primary way of communicating is texting, do not have much driving experience. When you combine lack of experience with texting, that is just a disaster waiting to happen.
Recently, the United Kingdom released an extremely graphic public service announcement featuring a carload of teenage girls who get into a horrific car accident due to the driver texting while driving.
This is probably the most realistic and frightening commercial I have ever seen. In a split second as the driver reads her text message, her car collides with another car, then is spun around and hit again by another car. The girls are shown being bounced around, banging their heads against the windows and each other --- blood and gore is front and center.
After the accident, two girls lay lifeless while the survivor screams. Bystanders try to open the door, but it is jammed. Rescuers are quick on the scene, and soon the viewers see the other cars who were in the accident and the young child in the back of one of the cars who keeps begging her parents to wake up.
Of course there was controversy about the commercial and critics said the ad was way too violent and upsetting to be shown on television.
Excuse me? Have those critics watched television lately? I will try to remain on topic here, but there are much worse things involving sex, violence and drugs on television than this particular public service announcement.
Yes, this is a graphic few minutes and it will certainly be disturbing to you, especially if you have teenage drivers like I do. But please, take a few minutes and go to the YouTube Web site and search for “texting while driving." You will see how many millions of people have already viewed this video. This is definitely something worth seeing, and make sure all of your loved ones who drive watch this video as well.
Adlen is the author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” Please visit her Web site at www.adlenrobinson.com.