Monday, January 31, 2011

Remember Alex Brown Campaign

Today I’m going to pause from my regular rambling blog posts to share a pet peeve of mine. Texting while driving.

I don’t understand why we think they can drive a 4,000 lb. car down the road at 50+ miles an hour with one hand while looking down at our phone and pushing tiny little buttons with letters on them in the other. It takes the average car and driver 168 feet to bring their car to a stop going 40 miles an hour. So let’s say you get a text from your sister while cruising down the neighborhood and decide to text her back. A child chases a ball out into the street in front of your car. If  you are looking down at your phone it isn’t going to matter what your reaction time is, because chances are you will never see the child.

Why in the world would we risk killing ourselves or someone else? Is any text that important? We all know the answer is no, but it seems to be part of our human nature to think we can do it all.

Now think of all the 16 year olds on the road. I remember when I was 16 and I had been driving the country roads since I was 11. But you know what, I still ran up over curbs and did a few unsafe things, just by being distracted by a song on the radio or talking to a friend. I shutter to think if I had a cell phone up to my ear, or the ability to text, what might have happened.

So last night on Extreme Makeover was the story of Alex Brown. A beautiful young teenager from a small town not too far from me. One morning she told her parents goodbye as she headed out for school and that ended up being the last time they talked to her. Down the road she was texting while driving and her truck veered off the country road and flipped several times. Her parents devastated by the senseless loss have started the Remember Alex Brown campaign. They are educating the public, especially high school students, on the dangers of texting while driving. Many states have enacted laws about texting and driving. Even though I think this is great, it saddens me that we have to have such a common sense law to keep people from doing something so dangerous.

First thing this morning I headed over to their website and signed the pledge not to text and drive. I did it while my daughters watched. They aren’t old enough to drive yet, but I’m hoping they will remember the story of Alex Brown when they are.

I hope you take the pledge tooSmile


Warren Baldwin said...

Thanks for sounding this alarm. This is a serious problem. And you are right, it is sad that we have to have a law about this. Why can't common sense be enough?

I'm reading a book now by a man who traveled across Ameria in 1951. Even then he thought things were beginning to get too fast. We were losing the slower community pace, and the rush for business and the next dollar were taking over. What would he think if he could see us now?

Time will tell if texting is a blessing or a curse. In the ways you describe here, distraction and danger, it has already shown it's horrifying potential.

Great post.


Jennifer Shirk said...

I saw this last night too!

I have a friend with a teenager who maker her lock her purse in her trunk when she drives so she won't be tempted to text.
I'll head over to that link.