|Hi, Jean Robb here.|
I can't imagine losing one of my kids but losing them because of driving and texting is really hard to imagine.
We have all been in the car driving and got a text. You think " I will only turn away for a minute". That is a minute you may never get back. That is a minute that you will go over and over again if you lose a loved one.
I watched "Extreme Makeover" this weekend. They featured "Alex Brown"
This beautiful sixteen year old girl died in a single car accident while she was texting and driving. I'm going to sign the pledge to not text and drive today. Please take a minute to read the information below and pass it along. This is a minute that could save your life or the life of someone you love.
Although Alex is no longer with us, her memory lives. We hope you choose to do the same. Through Alex's memory we hope to educate others about the dangers of texting while driving. Learn more about Alex here . . .
To honor Alex's memory we formed The Remember Alex Brown Foundation (RAB). The foundation's website is a place to tell your story, to learn from others and to make a difference. Please share your memories with us or view stories here.
As you drive today, please put your cell phone away and drive safely. Your messages will be there when you arrive at your destination. Make sure that you arrive safely, too.
All of us can make a difference. Share your story of how texting and driving has impacted you, a family member, or friend, and efforts you have made to keep others from making the same horrible mistake. Share your story or view stories here.
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’re doing
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:
- 20 percent of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA).
- Of those killed in distracted-driving-related crashed, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction (18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes). (NHTSA)
- In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in U.S. roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving. (FARS and GES)
- The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under-20 age group – 16 percent of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving. (NHTSA)
- 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)
Oprah Show - Texting and Driving - The No Phone Zone ChallengeOn Monday, January 18, 2010, The Oprah Winfrey Show featured guests who had somehow been negatively affected by texting or talking on the cell phone while driving.
Millions of driver's are talking on the cell phone, checking their email, and even texting while they are driving. Although most driver's seem to understand the message not to "drink and drive," they are less aware of the risks of cell phone use while driving.
Many cell phone users don't realizing that by taking their focus off of the road they are just as bad as a drunk driver, and when it comes to texting they're even worse.
The Facts About Texting and Driving
Oprah shared the shocking cell phone accident statistics with her viewers, close to half a million people are injured and 6,000 people killed every year in cell phone related crashes.
Oprah Show guest researcher David Strayer explained the studies conducted on how the human brain works and why people cannot multitask like they think they can. Although many people swear they are an expert of doing two or more things at once Strayer's research shows that while talking on a cell phone a driver is 4 times as likely to get into an accident. (About the same risk as driving drunk).
Texting While Driving Is Worse Than Driving Drunk
Those who text message while driving are 8 times as likely to be involved in an accident, as they are suffering from "inattention blindness," which means the brain is only processing about half of the information around them. Making it easy for a driver who is texting to miss a red light, stop sign, or pedestrian crossing the street.
David Strayer has been studying distracted drivers for ten years and says that someone who is texting while they drive is actually driving worse than a drunk driver.
If the facts aren't enough to get you to put down your cell phone while in the car then perhaps hearing the tragic stories of some of the victims will get your attention.
Texting S.U.V. Driver Hits Little Girl Riding Her Bike In a Residential Neighborhood
The victims stories were difficult to hear, Oprah's guests included wives, daughters, and fathers of victims who had either been killed on the road by someone driving while on their cell phone, or driver's who crashed while on their phone.
An especially heartbreaking story showing the dangers of texting while driving was the story of a nine-year-old girl named Erica who was hit by an S.U.V. whose driver was texting and not paying full attention to the road.
Erica was riding her bicycle only seconds away from her home when the S.U.V. struck her, sadly she later died in the hospital. You can read more about the accident victims here on Oprah.com.
Oprah's Mission To End Cell Phone Distraction Behind The Wheel
Oprah wants viewers to stop using cell phones in the car and take the NO Phone Zone Pledge. This is what Oprah Winfrey had to say about cell phone use while driving:
"It is my prayer that this show, this day will be a seminal day in your life," Oprah says. "Let it be the end, the end of you using a cell phone or sending a text message when you are behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. And until we as a nation decide we're going to change that, those numbers are only going to go up."
To find out more about Oprah's No Phone Zone Pledge or to read more about cell phone driving research visit Oprah.com.
Tell Your Family and Friends To Stop Driving While They're On Their Cell Phone
Do you want to tell your friends and family to stop texting while driving? You can email this blog post to your loved ones by going here and visiting the "email this" link at the bottom of the article.
Since the "texting while driving" Oprah show aired yesterday over 30,000 people have taken the No Phone Zone pledge, and hopefully there will be many more who will make the decision to stay off their phones while on the road.