OK, I am fed up again with the people who don’t give a hoot about anything but their own little world of cellphone dependence, especially those sitting at traffic lights.
Your selfishness could be deadly to me and my family. Sometimes, I wish there was a highway set aside solely for distracted drivers.
Is it a life-or-death conversation or Twitter encounter you’re involved in? In fact, it could very well be life or death for you — or other people. Statistics show that what you do is causing people to die, suffer brain injuries, paralysis and other life-altering injuries.
Yes, it hurt. It still hurts. When President Donald Trump dropped the “L” word the other day, it resonated with me and probably millions of ot…
Parked at the intersection leaving my subdivision this week, I was two cars behind a cellphone-a-holic.
The traffic light leaving out of my subdivision onto a major highway takes forever to change in the morning. Cars often line up 10 to 12 deep waiting for the light to turn green.
Finally the light changed, and no cars moved. After a few seconds, a couple of drivers honked to move the cellphone-a-holic along. Finally, the woman, (men do it, too) sloooowly pulled out onto the road.
For a minute, think double-chocolaty-chip crème frappuccino. Why? That will be explained as you read on.
Drivers were racing out to beat the light before it changed so that they wouldn't have to sit there for another two minutes. The light turned yellow. In my rear-view mirror, I could see two cars hurrying out as the light turned red. Two cars on the main road lurched forward and then stopped abruptly so as not to run into the cars behind me.
As we are headed down the road, the driver who had held us up was driving slowly — in the left lane, no less. As people passed her, she was still preoccupied with her cellphone, either texting, talking, or emailing.
If the cars she delayed had been involved in an accident, she probably would have never known about it. But her unwillingness to get off the phone while slowing traffic would have been a contributing factor to the collisions. And, there would be no statistic anywhere that the accident was due in part to a distracted — no, selfish — driver.
Somehow, through the traffic a couple of miles down the road, I saw her again. We were stopped at a light. She was about four cars behind me, still in the left lane. She was stopped nearly two car lengths from the cars ahead of her.
Sure enough, the light changed, and she was ever so slow to take off. But given the distance she was from the cars in front of her, I bet there were angry drivers who missed the light because of her self-absorption.
This woman may never cause an accident, but there are those like her who do. The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission statistics show distractions, both inside and the outside the car, are contributing factors in many crashes. Maybe I and others who shoot mean glances at her could cause an accident.
The latest commission stats for Louisiana show that 192 people were killed between 2011 and 2015 because of some kind of distraction. Another 26,977 were injured. Nationally, it;s estimated that there are nine fatalities daily related to distracted drivers.
How horrible to learn that a loved one was killed or severely injured because someone found texting or looking at Instagram and Facebook was more important that watching the road.
But there is that oblivious state of the people who cause accidents and are long gone because the accident happened behind them.
Consider Bonnye Spray, the mother of a daughter who survived one distracted driving accident and pledged not to do it again. A year later, that same daughter died in a distracted driving accident.
Quoted in a Modesto, Calif., newspaper article, the mother said, “I thought this (the first accident) would be a wake-up call for her.”
Folks, you will survive a few minutes without texting. As for the woman in my subdivision, I pray for her and all of us who drive with her and those like her.
Email Edward Pratt, a former newspaperman who writes a weekly column, at firstname.lastname@example.org.