Don't use cell phones while driving. Especially, don't text!


Amanda Clark had survived. It was a miracle! She had been using her cell phone while driving a large vehicle. Amanda ran a stop sign. She was broadsided by another vehicle. Her vehicle rolled over about 3 times and ended up on its top. Amanda survived with only minor injuries. She was a graduating senior in high school. She claimed that she knew how lucky she had been to survive. She swore that no message would ever be that important to her again.
Then, almost exactly one year later, she lost control of another vehicle she was driving. Cell phone records showed that she was texting at the time she crashed. In this accident, no other vehicle was involved. It took responders 40 minutes to extricate Amanda from her crushed vehicle. She had not been breathing for the last 20 minutes. She died the next day.

When I was a teenager, I thought that nothing too bad could happen to me either. My friends and I did stupid things. We were not careful enough when we drove. I remember, "opening it up" on US 23 on the way back from Ann Arbor once. I know I topped 90, but my father's straight 6 engine would not make it to 100 mph -- fortunately for me, and the others in my vehicle with me at the time.
I also remember one of my friends saying that he never stopped at stop signs in part of Old Orchard because they had only been placed at these intersections to slow traffic down, not to make the streets safer. Sure enough, at least one time when I was a passenger in his car, he blew through about 4 of these stop signs in a row going down one street. We both survived that idiocy. He went on to serve in Vietnam. Never a serious student before he served in Vietnam, upon his return, he went to college and law school in Southern California. He then got into real estate investment there.
There was this young woman named Evelyn Shall. We were born one day apart. When we were babies. our mothers would walk us together in baby strollers. After classes at UT, I would often take the Old Orchard bus down Bancroft St. to Sylvan St. There, I'd get off and walk the rest of the way to Swayne Field to work at my father's jewelry store. About once a week or so, I'd get on the bus with Evie. She would be riding home after classes. She had a "great boyfriend." Even though I had never met her boyfriend, I was happy for Evie. One day, I heard that I would never see her again. Evie's boyfriend had been driving and they were in a terrible accident. To this day, I do not know it he lived or died. All I know is that Evie did. We didn't need cell phones to drive idiotically!
Amanda Clark did not survive either. Yes, it is a different era, but, both then and now, young people take risks that they should not. OK. So we didn't have cell phones back in the 1960s. That does not mean we didn't do idiotic things, especially behind the wheel of a vehicle.

The message seems to be transparently clear. Don't use a cell phone while driving. Distracted driving leads to thousands of unnecessary deaths on our streets and highways every year. Statistically, more young adults die in motor vehicle accidents than by any other cause! Remember, you may not only be risking your life if you drive while talking or texting on a cell phone. You may be risking the lives of passengers in your vehicle, not to mention everyone else sharing the road with you. And, if you know someone who does use a cell phone while driving, urge them in the strongest possible language not to do so. You may be saving one or more lives, if (s)he follows this sound advice. Amanda Clark is just as dead as she would be if some nefarious character had shot her in a robbery attempt. But, in this case, she offed herself!
Here's a link to an article about Amanda Clark's life an untimely death:

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Your intended audience isn't reading SB, Dale. It's likely you're preaching to the choir.

This isn't about texting while driving; it's about distracted driving. The whole business goes back to the 1960s, when some well-meaning statistician did a survey on accident survivors and what they were doing at the time of the accident. Out of those that could remember, over half said they were screwing around with the radio. Others were eating, trying to keep the kids from killing each other, and a small percentage were having an amorous encounter with a member of the opposite sex.

There are more distractions now than there were then, but the behavior hasn't changed. Only the numbers, as in more drivers and more distractions, and that includes signage along the road.

What really gets to me is that this condition is something that the government could improve, but refuses to do so. The reason? Money. Auto sales would plummet if a driver's license were as difficult to get as it should be. As things stand in the US, an average orangutan could pass the driving part of the test, and probably the written exam as well.

Don't believe me? Fine. Next time you hit the street, pull off into a parking lot and watch the traffic for a while. Tell me just how many of your fellow motorists have any real business operating a one ton vehicle traveling at 80 feet per second, and remember that there is no 'right to drive'.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Distracted driving has always been a problem. And we now have more distractions than ever before.
In addition, nobody wants to read postings like this one. Total reads on this article? 132. Total reads on WSPD needs a makeover? 693.

I agree with you Dale!

Hope I didn't offend anyone!

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