LOL? Not while driv­ing!

The Dundalk Eagle - - OBITUARIES - By STEVE WALSH, Di­rec­tor

I am def­i­nitely not laugh­ing out loud when a guy passes me at 70 mph and he’s tex­ting be­hind the wheel. Not funny. And pos­si­bly deadly.

One in four crashes in­volves a cell phone.

A third of all driv­ers ad­mit to read­ing or tex­ting be­hind the wheel.

Driv­ers un­der 30 years old ac­count for nearly 36 per­cent of all dis­tracted driv­ers in­volved in crashes.

I’m not the first to point out the dan­gers of this prac­tice, of course. But as Baltimore County’s di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Works, whose depart­ment is in­volved with road­way safety, I be­lieve we all have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to speak out and to pro­tect the in­no­cent.

I un­der­stand the temp­ta­tions of tech­nol­ogy. I’ve got kids, so I see the lure of phones, com­put­ers and tablets every day. But we need to re­mind our­selves of the sta­tis­tics. In just one year, 3,450 peo­ple in the U.S. were killed in dis­trac­tion-re­lated crashes, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Fed­eral data.

A driver can safely glance away from the road for only about two sec­onds. An­swer­ing a text takes five sec­onds. At 55 miles per hour, five sec­onds is enough time to travel the length of a foot­ball field.

“Hands free” is the law in Mar yland.

Fo­cus on the road and the driv­ers around you.

Is that text wor th your life? Avoid dis­trac­tions with th­ese safe driv­ing tips from AAA

Put aside elec­tronic dis­trac­tions. While driv­ing, never use text mes­sag­ing, email, video games or in­ter­net func­tions, in­clud­ing those built into the ve­hi­cle.

Pre-pro­gram your GPS and ad­just seats, mir­rors, cli­mate con­trols and sound sys­tems be­fore driv­ing.

Prop­erty se­cure chil­dren and pets be­fore you start the car.

Store loose items that could roll around in the car.

Snack smart by avoid­ing messy foods that can be dif­fi­cult to man­age.

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