Thursday, May 24, 2012

Still Driving While Blind

If you stop by this blog every now and then, you probably already know how I feel about driving and texting or looking at the Internet. For those who don't, I think the people who do this should be pretty much drawn and quartered. About a week ago I was heading north on Main from 13 Mile in Royal Oak when I found myself having to swerve into the right lane to avoid a head on with a young man in a F-250. Like the nineteen year old described in the video below, he was steering with his forearms while staring into his cellphone. I was lucky, I had a clear lane to change to and there was not a vehicle occupying the space I used to escape becoming an hood ornament. He was taking up three quarters of the northbound lane I was traveling in and had I been on a two lane like the Kuberts, I would have surely suffered the same fate or worse.

The laws on distracted driving are far too lenient as far as I'm concerned. People who text and drive on a regular basis obviously have complete disregard for not only the others they affect on a daily basis. But are so self absorbed, that they are oblivious to the danger they are posing to themselves as well as any passengers they may have with them. It is my hope that the Kuberts legal action is successful and gets the ball rolling for laws that have a bit more "teeth". They should be at least as strict as those for drunk driving. In my eyes, they are both in the same league. Thanks Felix for sending me this video.


red said...

I agree, drivers who are messing around with their phones deserve a harsh penalty, every bit as harsh as drunk drivers.

But, I don't believe the person texting the driver should be held responsible. The driver made the choice to pick up the phone. If you don't have the will power to ignore a text while behind the wheel, you shouldn't have a license to begin with.

Gymi said...

You do have a valid point there Red, and in most circumstances I would agree with you whole heartedly. But in this instance there is documented evidence that his girl friend was well aware that he was driving home from work at the time of the text. Most times when we send a text, we have no idea where the person we are sending it to is at the time we send it. In this instance, this was clearly not the case. She was in full knowledge that he was on his way home from work.

Does this mean I think she should have the book thrown at her. No, but I do believe it makes her at least partially responsible. I also am taking into account the age of the girlfriend as well. I realize that by texting him at this time, the thought never entered her mind of the tragic out come to follow. I think if she would have taken a minute to think of the consequences, she would never have been texting him on a daily basis on his drive home from work. And that is my whole point about distracted driving in the first place, the people who are doing it are not thinking about the devastation that can happen as a result. I do not believe the girl should be held accountable for what happened to the Kuberts, that is a lawyer trying to go after everyone he can for compensation. I agree, the boy should either ignore the text until he gets home, or pull over somewhere to point out he is driving and will contact her when he gets home. But age enters the picture in the boys decision making process as well.

But in the future, I hope that others that are in the same situation, might think twice about waiting a few more minutes to send the text to the person they know is driving at the moment they send it. The story does not point out who started the dialog, the boyfriend may have started texting her as soon as he left work. But the fact remains, she knew he was driving at the time of the text. I don’t think we should go after everyone who sends a text to someone who is driving, it is my hope that this will be a learning experience for those who text people that they know are driving at the time of the message. That we can cut down on these totally avoidable tragedies. There are no simple answers to events like this, in the end, we can only hope that common sense prevails and the roads become just bit safer for us all.

red said...

Too bad we can't license based on maturity or responsibility instead of age.

"There are no simple answers to events like this, in the end, we can only hope that common sense prevails and the roads become just bit safer for us all."

I agree 100%.

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