In 2009, a teenager named Alex Brown was texting and driving while heading to school one morning. Sadly, she crashed her truck while driving at 70 mph without a seatbelt and was killed when she was thrown from the window and the truck rolled over.
Taking up the fight against distracted driving, her family is using the beat up truck and their daughter’s memory to raise awareness for driving safety, including ending distracted driving and advocating for the use of seatbelts. The cause has been taken up by many schools and organizations, all pledging to educate others about the dangers of distracted driving and to not do it themselves.
The killers of every driver
The facts state that around 3,477 deaths, almost 3,200 car wrecks, and 391,000 injuries were a result of distracted driving in 2015 alone and the numbers have only gotten higher with time. While many of these drivers were teenagers, it can also happen with adults as well.
In addition, having someone else in the car doesn’t make the driver immune to distraction either, and many of the fatalities are the passengers. Distractions come in three categories: Visual, where the eyes of the driver leave the road, manual where the hands are taken off the wheel, and cognitive, where the mind wanders.
Even if the people in the car don’t text, even flicking their eyes from the road can cause some major problems, especially when dangerous moments in cars require split-second reactions by drivers. Being a distracted driver causes reaction time to double, and it’s about the same as being under the influence of something.
Other distractions can include speeding, drunk driving, talking to others, and not wearing a seatbelt. Even fiddling with the radio can be a distraction that can cause some major injuries.
How to be a focused driver
When it comes to being a focused driver, the road needs to be the only important thing that matters. Doing something as simple as turning off the phone, letting others know that you will be on the road, and taking care of all distractions beforehand can drastically reduce the risk of crashes.
If others are in the car, ensure that they are all buckled up, understand the danger of distracting the driver, and possibly appoint someone to be a designated texter. That way if someone needs to be contacted or an emergency arises, someone in the car can take care of it.
Never forget Alex Brown
The one thing that is always said about Alex Brown was that she didn’t think distracted driving was going to become fatal for her. She had that mindset, and it turned out not to be true. Remember that lesson when a distraction arises in a car because one bad decision can turn someone into a statistic.
No matter what, it can always happen to anyone and can have lasting consequences, so leave the phone off and ensure that the seatbelts are buckled – because it can always wait.