Sunday, September 13, 2009

Distracted

Bonjour,

I would love for people in the international community to have an awareness of DUDE, or "driving under distractions everywhere" (yup, I made it up). Distraction comes in different shapes & sizes, just like its consequences. For example, about five years ago, my father totaled a van because he felt the sudden need to read a letter while driving. His life, and the life of my only brother, were saved simply because they were in a huge vehicle and were wearing their seat-belts.

Another major source of distraction is using your cellular phone while driving. It's really NOT worth it! I must admit, I've been guilty of it too. However, after reading a few articles at Safe Kids Worldwide, I've realized the magnitude of the risks I've taken. Not even for a second did I stop to think of the dangers I put myself, my passengers, pedestrians, and everyone & everything else in my surroundings into by using my phone.

Did you know that driving distracted is equivalent to being drunk with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08. Furthermore, a report by my supervisor at Safe Kids Worldwide, Jurek Grabowski, stated that "the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis estimated that cell phone use was a factor in 6% of crashes in 2003. That estimation translated to 636,000 crashes involving 12,000 major injuries and 2,600 deaths" (Distracted Drivers in School Zones, pg. 4). Keep in mind that was long before the iPhone was released (June 29, 2007).

I would hate for you to have to get into a preventable crash & cause life-long unintentional injuries to yourself &/or death to innocent children just because you sent an 'urgent' text message to a friend saying, "I'm on my way." If you're a passenger & see your driver is being distracted and you do not say anything, you too are guilty of his/her delinquency. I'm telling you all this because, believe it or not, I care about you.

Until Next Time,

Emmanuel H.

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