Letter: Never text while drivingOn Oct. 2 of this year, I was driving on a county road when an SUV traveling at 50 mph blew a stop sign and struck my car on the driver’s side.
By: Mary Doyscher, Arlington, Worthington Daily Globe
On Oct. 2 of this year, I was driving on a county road when an SUV traveling at 50 mph blew a stop sign and struck my car on the driver’s side. I spent 13 days in a trauma unit recovering from seven broken ribs, a broken left arm, a collapsed lung and a torn diaphragm, spleen, liver, stomach and colon. I missed two months of work and now am back only half-time.
My 2-year-old German shepherd, who was in the back seat of my car, was killed. Had my driver’s seat been positioned a few inches farther back, I likely would have been killed, too. What caused the SUV to miss not only the stop sign, but also the warnings of two rumble strips and a “stop ahead” sign? The driver admitted that he had been occupied with his cell phone.
According to the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital, cell phone use while driving is even more dangerous than drinking and driving. At a speed of 70 mph, an unimpaired driver takes 54 seconds to brake and stop the car. A legally drunk person adds 4 feet before coming to a stop, but a person reading e-mail adds 36 feet, and someone texting adds 70 feet.
There’s a gift you can give this holiday season, and it requires no assembly, no batteries — not even money. It’s a simple promise: that when you drive, you will leave the phone alone.