Yesterday I avoided being killed by a texting driver

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by THParent, May 9, 2018.

  1. THParent

    THParent Member

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    I'm driving down the two-lane road near my house yesterday as I often do.
    Both hands on the wheel - just driving - as I should.

    Then I see him. A guy in a Honda Accord, looking down at his phone, half of his car over the line in my lane, coming straight at me. Speed of closure is about 70 MPH. I lay on the horn as I swerve to my right and that snaps him out of his texting stupor and he weaves back to his side of the road, nearly going off the road on his side. We pass Port to Port as we should, and I try not to scream at the top of my lungs at the moron who could have killed me. Unpuckered now, and back on my way I continue, hoping he doesn't kill the next guy down the road.

    I have a friend who is nearly exactly my age, who wasn't so lucky two years ago. He ended up going in a ditch and flipping his car to avoid someone who was fully in his lane, texting and paying no attention. He has been a paraplegic ever since. He can't feel anything below his chest, he has trouble maintaining the correct body temperature, he needs help just to cough, sometimes his blood pressure spikes or drops so low he gets dizzy. His life was irreparably altered by an idiot texting on a cell phone.

    People talk about "gun violence" all the time, and want to impose more legislation, but you don't hear about anyone clamoring for the death penalty for clowns who kill or maim people by making a choice to do something other than concentrating on driving (which is dangerous enough when people are paying attention). This "phone violence" has to stop.

    I have a very short drive to the office in the morning. It takes me about 13 minutes. In those minutes, I can typically spot at least ten drivers looking at their phones while driving.

    Please, don't text while driving. It's stupid, irresponsible, and should be considered more like an actual crime (rather than a small fine) in all 50 states. Alaska gets it though, they may not make it a felony, but the fine is $10,000.

    If it was victimless (like this woman who plunges into a fountain) I wouldn't care.
    Heck, if the plunging-into-the-fountain thing happened with regularity, I would get a lawn chair and hold up score cards (ala the Olympics) for particularly worthy feats of stupidity. That sort of thing would be entertaining.
     
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  2. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    I hear you...glad you are okay. I ride a bicycle...alot..Nothing scares me more than the thought of the texting driver when I am out on country roads.

    A lot more people die from texting and driving than guns...no question. Where are all the cries to limit cell phone ownership to those over 21 (the teens would go crazy, and its not even a Constitutional right?) And before someone starts arguing won't be effective, because people over 21 text and drive., wouldn't the law be good as long as we save one life. (Same argument as the gun controllers use).

    Don't mean to hijack the thread...but the truth is, I'm really not in favor or any more laws...on phones, guns, or really anything else. How 'bout we simply use common sense and rely on personal responsibility , and don't do stupid things !
     
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  3. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    The last company I worked for was very active in promoting device-free driving. I took a pledge, “It can wait.” I got into the habit of ignoring the phone while driving. Even if I have Bluetooth, I don’t initiate calls or answer - too easy to divert attention from road awareness. Mobiles (I have both personal and work) stay in my work bag, unless I have Google Maps going and have the phone in a dash holder.

    I drive a lot, for both last job and this one, in my car and rentals, all over the NE and the home office area in TX. I have seen some very close calls and downright scary situations.

    Glad you’re all right. I wish people would think of the physics of operating a chunk of metal weighing thousands of pounds, traveling at any mph, and how the impact of that traveling missile can affect soft human parts and other objects.
     
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  4. THParent

    THParent Member

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    I don't look at my phone (or talk or text on it) while I'm driving.
    I'll use Google Maps, but only to listen to the navigation prompts over my stereo.
    I listen to the stereo as well, through the built-in car speakers.
    Not with ear buds or big headphones, like I see drivers wearing all of the time.

    I know this sounds like a "get off my lawn!" curmudgeon thing, but seriously Headphones?
    You can't hear law enforcement, first-responders, or train horns to name just a few.

    And bicyclists wearing ear buds is just asking for trouble. The times that I have narrowly missed being hit by a car on my bike, involved the successful use of all of my senses (especially hearing).
     
  5. justdoit19

    justdoit19 Member

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    Chiming in....DS, a P2B, lost a good buddy classmate in December. They had just lifted together before school, showered and changed, with a "see you later" slap on the back. Not even 10 minutes later he was dead. Same workout clothes, underwear, shoes, notebook and backpack spread across the highway, scooped up with a plow, video featured on the evening news (very poor taste). Head on collision as he lost control and crossed the median from distracted driving. Snapchat is the WORST as it requires picture taking as well as texting and selecting recipients from a list. And Snapchat is the social media du jour.

    There is NOTHING that cannot wait. That is the message. The new update on iphones includes a shutdown if the car is moving, and my kids turned that feature to ON on my phone. Its just NOT worth it. Families, friends, innocent commuters that saw the 80 mph head on collision are forever impacted. One doesn't get a do-over. And the whole thing was completely avoidable.

    I sit next to the classmates mom in the bleachers during sporting events. It is not lost that her son should be there too. He will not graduate with his buddies, he is not attending prom. All the things that she should be celebrating with him, and his buddies should too. Terribly sad...every single day.

    Just don't do it. It can wait....
     
  6. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe 5-Year Member

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    Here in Washington State they passed a law last year that driving while doing anything with your phone, even just holding it, is a violation that is equal to a DUI. While it does not result in a night in jail it requires the violation be reported to the insurance company where it is treated like a DUI, the fine is might hefty as well.

    Even with that law I still see idiots using their phone, can't count how many times I have to tap the horn to get someone to go from a stop light because they are texting.

    Frankly they should just equip every car with a jammer that makes it unable to use the phone when the car is running.
     
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  7. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    As long as I can still use my navigation I'm OK with that.
     
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  8. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American 5-Year Member

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    My wife gets mad because I honk at every texter and make sure they know that someone saw them being an idiot.

    They probably just text "some old jackwagon just honked at me."
     
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  9. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    LOL! I got that text! :D

    On a serious note I'm in complete agreement with everybody. Even folks talking on the phone while driving makes me angry.
     
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  10. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    Glad you're OK.
     
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  11. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB 10-Year Member

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    Texting at an uncontrolled intersection (stadium and community center Dr.) is what caused the car crash that nearly ended my Air Force career my junior year. The guy was finishing up his text as he turned in front of me, coming down stadium at 45mph. I barely had a half second to break before slamming into him. 8 years later, including 2.5ish years of physical therapy and 7 surgeries and my back still bugs me every time I run or sit for more than an hour or so. Sure makes annual PT tests fun.

    I’m lucky it wasn’t worse, airbag and seatbelt saved my life. If there had been a passenger in the other car they would have been killed instantly as that side of the car was pretty much gone.

    There is no excuse for it. Not even in traffic or at a red light. I love the iPhone update that blocks notifications while driving (I use google maps a lot, so it’s nice not to be tempted by that text banner that pops up even on the navigation screen)
     
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  12. Dadof2

    Dadof2 Member

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    I do a lot of driving for work and it's amazing and frightening to me how many people text or are otherwise distracted by phone use while driving. The thought of getting injured or killed by one of these people goes through my mind a lot. I've had a few close calls, but fortunately nothing serious - yet.

    For those who text and drive, think about how you would live with taking a life simply because you couldn't wait to send a text. I used to work with a guy whose teenage son was texting and driving. He drifted into the opposite lane on a bad corner of a country road and killed a young mother. As I recall the kid was a brand new driver, so about 17 yrs old. I haven't worked with that guy for years and have lost touch, but last I knew his son was suicidal and having an extremely difficult time coping with everyday tasks. Not only did he end that woman's life; he ruined his own. Many people, not just young people, have the dangerous thought "it's never going to happen to me".
     
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  13. eljay60

    eljay60 AFROTC parent, former ANC in USAR

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    My husband and I walk our dogs alongside a two lane country road (no sidewalk). We do it the proper way, facing traffic, dogs on the grass, us on the extreme edge of the shoulder. What I find interesting is that driving texters invariably aim straight for us. My assumption is their brain is registering something in their peripheral vision and is maneuvering their eyesight so we are more directly in their line-of-sight (if they happen to look up). We dive for the shoulder a couple of times a month, generally.
     
  14. 1mom

    1mom Member

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    Guns do not kill. Bad folks with criminal intents who use guns and drivers who don't focus 100% on the roads and what's around them do kill.
     
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  15. momx3

    momx3 Member

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    Me too! Need the navigation, as sometimes the GPS unit is wrong!
     
  16. Day-Tripper

    Day-Tripper Member

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    I read somewhere that texting & driving now is the cause for more traffic deaths than drinking & driving. Remarkable. Considering they didn't exist 20 years or so ago.

    Not to mention the idiots who can't stop looking at their phone long enough to cross the street. How many pedestrian deaths and injuries are phone-related?

    I've had family get-togethers with people (and not just youngsters) staring at their damn phones while people try to talk to them. My sister (50 years old) missed her kids opening gifts last Christmas Eve while staring at her phone.

    It's everywhere. People in restaurants together not looking at each other or talking to one another, but staring down at their i-phones. Cashiers not processing your order right away, because they have to get a text in. People at work not getting anything done because of Facebook. I've driven my kids places trying to engage in conversation, defeated by the competition from their smart phone. I saw one of my neighbors on his ride-on lawn mower looking down at his phone. I saw a cop "working" a traffic detail looking down at her phone. I live on Cape Cod - last summer two boats crashed here when BOTH their pilots were distracted by, you guessed it, their cell phones. Yikes! In my day boats crashed when they were piloted by drunks, the old-fashioned way.

    Go to a professional football or baseball game and look around. I'll bet 25% of the paying patrons are not watching the game at any given moment, but staring at their phones. Funny cat videos or something. Who knows?

    Does anyone even use their phones as, well, phones anymore? You know, person-to-person conversation? Or is texting just too much easier? These things are insidious, changing our brain structures. Dopamine and stuff.

    For the record, I have a family plan with Verizon Wireless. Four i-phones for the wife & kids, but I am still using my basic Samsung Intensity (look it up!) for the last 8 years. Hell, it works (as a phone)!
     
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  17. THParent

    THParent Member

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    I saw a gal driving last week, talking to someone while cradling her cell phone on her left shoulder, and texting someone else on a second cell phone.
    You can't make this stuff up.
     
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  18. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

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    Sadly, @Day-Tripper's texting and driving stat is true. We are in the time period for the next couple of months in which more teenagers will die by phone than any other reason. There will be several here in the DC metro area. I'm not usually in favor of more laws for things that should be common sense, but this is a public health and safety issue at this point. Driving and phoning should have serious penalties.
     
  19. BTCS/USN

    BTCS/USN Member

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    Karma, Justice or whatever you want to call it but yesterday on the way to work I witnessed a lady texting while going blissfully down the road........ until she rear ended the back of a police patrol car stopped for a light. The officer didn't look too impressed. Sometimes just life just works out.
     
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  20. THParent

    THParent Member

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    I saw a guy with a cigarette and a spoon in the hand he was holding the phone with, cradling a cereal bowl (with milk and cereal in it) with the other hand, this morning.
    Oh yeah, the other fun fact was he was driving an automobile as well.