Don’t get complacent when it comes to texing and driving
March 14, 2017
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Do you believe in the Luck o' the Irish? Do you believe getting into a vehicle accident is bad luck? Poor timing? Something that just simply happens?
In a Post Independent article recently, it was reported flatter, smoother straightaways in Garfield County had he most deadly crashes on I-70 west of Denver metro than any other county. A Colorado State Patrol Captain indicated the flat stretches can sometimes lull people to sleep.
Is it just people falling asleep? Or is it because people feel more comfortable texting on these straightaways, and feel they have the skills to multi-task while at a 75 MPH cruising speed?
Texting and driving is more common than one might think. Sitting on a roadside bench, or while walking on a treadmill two-stories high in a residential area, one can observe just how many people are fussing with their phones as they drive by. One day during the latter, I approximated 50% of the people, of all ages, had phones in hand.
According to a report on teendriversource.org, teens have the reaction time of a 70-year-old when distracted when driving. The crash risk is four times higher when a driver uses a cell phone, whether or not it's hands-free.
My 15-year-old niece who recently obtained her driver permit indicated texting and driving dangers are discussed during driver education, complete with graphic scenes. One wonders if this will help decrease the statistics.
Back to luck. Have you had the misfortune of hitting wildlife when driving through what I call Deer Alley (Highway 13) or while set on cruise control on I-70? According to the CPW, it's more dangerous at dusk and dawn, and it's more dangerous when the days are shorter and people are commuting to and from work at those times. The CPW has tips and High-risk Areas identified on their website.
My favorite tip: Remember if one crosses your path, there are usually more to follow. And not just the leprechauns.
Susan Nichols-Alvis is the owner of Nichols Insurance Agency in Rifle. You can reach her at 970-625-0411 or visit http://www.farmersunioninsurance.com/snichols.