Save Our Teen Drivers

Advocating for driver's education changes. Educating the public on the problem. Finding a solution that saves lives.

NSC unveils “Death by Cellphone” billboards in Florida

Posted by lapearce on July 7, 2009

2,600 people a year are killed on the roads because of cell phone use. The National Safety Council has taken the stories of two of these people: Linda, a 61-year-old wife, mother and grandmother from Oklahoma, and Joe, a 12-year-old boy from Michigan to drive this point home in Florida.

Florida currently has no ban what so ever on cell phone use or text messaging. Cell phone use increases the chance of a crash four times, and texting has been shown to be more dangerous than driving and driving. But bans are in their infancy and most drivers admit that they do talk while they drive, even if they are aware of the consequences.

NSC hopes that their billboards about cell phone use, which will be seen by an estimated 56,000 people a day, will help inform Florida drivers of the risks. Of course, ironically, billboards are also huge distractions for drivers. So by spreading their message they are also taking the drivers eyes and attention off the road, potentially resulting in crashes. But I guess you can’t win them all.

Florida Press-News article on the billboards.

There are things that you as a driver can do to help ensure that you are not in a crash because of a distracted driver as well. The most obvious way is to not be distracted yourself. But not being distracted is only one part of the equation, you also need to be aware of your surroundings. In my opinion, a driver who stares straight a head and never looks in any other direction is just as dangerous as a driver on his/her cell phone. If you ever said or thought “that came out of nowhere!” then you probably weren’t paying enough attention while driving.

If you are aware of your surroundings you will have a better chance of seeing the distracted driver before they hit you. You can do this by lifting your eyes up, above the center of your windshield and looking several cars a head of you. You also need to check your mirrors often.

Many people feel that their mirrors are only to be used while changing lanes, in reality, you should be looking at them every few seconds in order to stay aware of your surroundings. It also helps if they are adjusted properly. There are no blind spots on a car if your mirrors are adjusted right. You may think it is witch craft but I’ve adjusted the mirrors on hundreds of cars for hundreds of students and I have yet to find a blind spot. Give it a shot. There’s no reason to see the side of your car anyways, it’s going the same place the front of the car is.


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