Roadscapes Stuff

Roadscapes Wednesday: Seat Belts and Distracted Driving

The entire town of Ragland, AL is in mourning after 16 year-old Kristan Cox was killed on Monday night.  She was riding in the backseat of a car when the car took a curve too fast and it collided with a tree.  She was ejected from the backseat of the car and died.  Here is the story from ABC 33/40.  http://www.abc3340.com/story/19898049/friends-remember-ragland-teenager-killed-in-crash.

Sadly this death might have been prevented if she was wearing a seat belt.  Seat belts do save lives and it even saved my life when a school bus full of kids ran a stop sign and collided with my car around 10 years ago.  No one was hurt in that accident.  According to the Alabama Department of Public Safety.  Alabama saw 42 fewer teen deaths in motor vehicle crashes involving at-fault teen drivers in 2011, down from 96 in 2010.  A total of 19,022 teens statewide were involved in motor vehicle crashes in 2011, when teen drivers ages 16-19 were determined to cause the crash, an increase of 1,181 from 2010. However, injuries decreased in 2011 to 2,749 compared to 5,940 in 2010.

And according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration‘s 2008 survey, seat belt use remained lower among 16- to 24-year-olds than other age groups, with a rate of 77%; and was lower among African-Americans than other races, with a use rate of 75%.  These rates are unacceptable!  The seat belt rate should be 100%.  But there are still some people who thinks that seat belts are annoying and they will not wear them.  There are even a couple of people in the Alabama legislature that wants to repeal the seat belt law in Alabama.  These people think the government should not tell them what to do in their lives.  The reason why we have seat belt laws is because it can save your life!  I wear a seat belt every time I drive and you should too!  These YouTube videos should serve as inspiration to buckle up while in a car.

Sadly seat belts are not the only thing you have to worry about while behind the wheel.  Distracted driving has seen a dramatic increase since the invention of the cell phone.  And today many drivers are talking on the phone while driving.  But some drivers are also doing other things while driving.  According to a Health Day poll from November 10-14, 2011. More than 2,800 American adults responded to this poll.  Results showed the following statistics and they should shock you.

  • Approximately 86% of drivers said they ate or drank while driving at some point, and 57% said they do it “sometimes” or “often.”
  • Over 1/3 of drivers (37%) have sent or received text messages while driving, and 18% said they do it regularly.
  • Forty-one percent of adult drivers have set or changed a GPS system while driving, and 21% do it “more frequently.”
  • Many adult drivers (36%) have read a map while driving, and 10% do it “sometimes” or “often.”
  • One in five drivers have combed or styled his or her hair while driving. One in ten does it regularly.
  • Have you ever seen a driver putting on makeup? Approximately 14% have done it once, and 7% do it frequently.
  • About 13% of adult drivers have surfed the Internet while driving.
  • Results of the poll showed that younger drivers were more likely to engage in distracted driving. Men were more likely to drive while drowsy, drive after drinking, read a map, use a GPS system, and use the Internet.
  • A large percentage of the people said they know distracted driving is dangerous, but do it anyway.

And In 2010, 3,092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an additional 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.  So yes distracted driving has got to stop!  I would support a law banning all forms of distracted driving period.  If a police officer sees you distracted from a cell phone, eating, drinking, or anything else.  They should pull you over and ticket you!  Every time I go out on the roads I usually see a driver doing something stupid because they were distracted.  My car horn gets a workout every time I go out!  So I think the time has come to ban distracted driving.  And no the government is not taking control of our lives.  These laws are designed to protect drivers from folks who don’t care about the other drivers on the road.  These YouTube videos should show you how dangerous distracted driving really is!

Our roads have to become safer!  Alabama is number 1 for deaths causing by speeding on our roads!  So we need better laws to protect drivers on the road.  Plus we also need better roads as well!  Many deaths on our roads and highways can be prevented if we have some common sense.  Wear your seat belt and don’t drive distracted!  It might save your life!

2 replies »

  1. My daughter Kristan Cox, if wearing a seatbelt, would not have had an open casket!!! The car was torn in half and the back seat where she was sitting was unrecognizable! So no, her death could not have been prevented if wearing a seatbelt!!!

  2. Look, ABC 33/40 did say that she was not wearing a seatbelt. I don’t know how the car was like after the accident, I just did this post to remind everyone about the importance of wearing a seatbelt and not driving while distracted.