Distracted Driving Doubles the Danger
Posted June 16, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT
FAYETTEVILLE — Many of us are so busy, we try to do two things at once. As a result, stateHighway PatrolTroopers estimate accidents caused by distractions have increased dramatically.
Many of us are guilty of making the most of our time when we're stuck in traffic; we don't always think of the danger involved in talking on a cell phone, smoking, playing with the radio, or eating behind the wheel.
But distractions have turned into tragedy in Cumberland County twice in the last two weeks.
Troopers say a 25-year-old woman died in one wreck, when the driver of the other vehicle reached to the floorboard to pick up a lighter and crossed the center line.
Monday, a man was killed and his children hurt in an accident troopers say was caused by a driver who was eating and not looking at the road.
"Driving needs 100 percent of their attention," says Sgt. Bert Eastwood. "When they are distracted, unfortunately, that's when some of these accidents are occurring."
Eastwood estimates accidents caused by distractions have doubled in the last ten years.
The New England Journal of Medicinesays cell phone users are four to five times more likely to be involved in an accident.
To prevent accidents, troopers suggest drivers pull over on the shoulder of the road when using a cell phone. As for eating and driving, their best advice is to just take the time to go into a restaurant or eat in the restaurant parking lot.