Food for thought during power ball mania!!!
Distracted driving is an absolute killer. My math could be a little off on this post but I think it gets the point across! There is a huge focus on DUI driving and very little focus on distracted driving or texting while driving. According to textinganddrivingsafety.com only 39 states prohibit the use of text messaging and only 10 band cell phone usage. A Virginia Tech study suggests that the average distracted driver spends 23 seconds browsing their phone in order to dial and send a message and that doesn’t include the time it takes to find their phone!
When you start start to directly compare reaction times of DUI driving vs texting while driving the dangers become even more clear. Numerous studies show just how much slower reaction times can be while texting vs. being under the influence. a New York Times article suggests almost a doubling in reaction time between the 2. A Brian Injury Society article suggests that texting and driving is the equivalent of drinking 4 standard drinks.
What’s clear is that both are exceedingly dangerous, however the corresponding penalties aren’t anywhere in the same ball park. For instance, in my state of California a first time DUI can set you back a cool $2500 in various fines and fees, not including the inevitable insurance rate hike, 5 years of probation, a 3-9 month alcohol class, possible community service, ankle alcohol monitors and being required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicles. Not to mention the license suspension of up to 11 months and the 2 points that will be on your driving record. Conversely, the first time penalty for texting while driving is a meager $76. It will show up on your driving record but does not count as a point!
The difference in attitude is what I focused on my Google+ post. There is a 1 in 125 chance you’ll be in an accident involving a distracted driver, with a 1 in 16000 chance someone will die. People say all the time, “it won’t happen to me!” The powerball odds are 1 in 292 million and people are lined up at convenience stores buying tickets. Some people are spending thousands of dollars on tickets! The attitude? “It only takes one!” or “Why not me?” Now I certainly don’t want to be a downer here, the dichotomy just struck me. I’ll probably buy a couple tickets and I’ll gladly share with anyone who shares this post if I win the jackpot! What I won’t be doing is texting and driving!
Good luck if you buy some tickets!