Just a quick little tip: Don’t use your cellphone while driving!
I’m guilty of dialing a number here or there, but I tend to just answer calls while driving, not place them. Now I have a Blackberry for work, and I’ll check it when I’m stopped at a light. When I first got it, I was really tempted to play with it while moving, but I got over that quickly after I saw how dangerous taking my eyes off the road for just a second really was.
The story: A friend of ours got married to a man (we’ll call him Stan) from overseas. She bought him an old, junky Honda Accord long before he even got his visa to come to the U.S. After about 6 months, he was able to move here and got a job working at a “big box store” in the area as a night stock person. I spoke to him a few times and found he had transmission problems with the car, but it got him to where he needed to go.
Fast forward to last week. I ran across Stan in our neighborhood. I found it odd he was driving his wife’s car as I was sure she didn’t like driving his old beater. He stepped out of the car gingerly, and I asked if he was hurt. He then goes on to tell me the following:
- He traded in his old car just 3 days prior to our conversation
- He paid about $5,000 for a newer Honda Accord…money which he spent 2 full months saving up to pay cash
- He was texting while driving up a major county road. If you know DC, you know that any road considered “major” is always full of cars.
- He veered into oncoming traffic and smashed into another car!
- He only had put liability insurance on the car. He lost $5000 instantly.
- The hospital and ambulance bills amounted to another $1500.
At least he was open and honest about his stupidity, but I wonder whether he was charged with any crime. This post isn’t just about the financial impact on him, his new wife and their daughter, but also to illustrate how a little bit of distracted driving could easily lead to a major disaster, and potentially even death. I’m really surprised that he hit another car in the opposite lane and he was out of the hospital in 3 days, but perhaps it wasn’t fully head-on.
What are your experiences with distracted driving? Are you guilty of doing it yourself? Do you do anything special to prevent distracted driving (like putting your iPhone in the trunk when you drive)?