Texting and driving

imagesThere are so many rules to driving on the road.  Do not drink and drive is the number one thing that parents say to kids when they first get behind the wheel.  MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) began in 1980 by Caroline Lightner whose 13 year old daughter was killed by a drunk driver.  They have been the forefront on educating the public about drunk driving.  Drunk driving has been cut in half since they began.  I am not a fan of the law that this group pushed through congress to move the drinking age to 21 from 18 as the long tail affects of that on college campuses have not been positive.  Yet I am a fan of sobriety checkpoints, breathalyzers and drunk driving laws.

Fast forward 30 years the landscape has changed.  People are educated on drunk driving.  There is now Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and others that has created access to hiring a driver to take you somewhere and home without ever having to get into a car after having a drink.

There is also texting.  I recently read a book called A Deadly Wandering, A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention.  An excellent book about a young man who killed two rocket scientists in Utah because he veered into the left lane when he was texting.  Every other chapter tells of the toll that accident took on him and the families of both men who were husbands and fathers in the car that he hit.  The other chapters are about the research that has been conducted for years on attention.  The effect of technology on the brain and the desire to get that text and read it.

So when our kids began to drive they already knew that they shouldn’t drink and drive.  What we drove home more than anything is don’t text and drive.  It only takes a millisecond of taking your eyes off the road and having an accident that could be tragic.

I have heard so many stories of texting tragedies on the road.  For what?  What was the importance of that message vs taking a human life or your own.  It couldn’t wait?  Maybe it is time that MADD think about adding on to their agenda.  They have educated the public in countless ways.  This issue could be worse.