From the time you were a young child, you were taught to “pay attention.”
Whether it be Mom, Dad, a teacher, or someone else providing valuable insight, you were told to focus on what was being presented.
When you began driving, the “pay attention” instruction came into play again, and for good reason. In driving, it's an absolute must.
You have to be aware of what is happening around you.
In fact, anything you can think of that takes the driver's attention away from the road can lead to danger and often sad results.
Here, from an Oklahoma Highway Patrol report I saw, is one such incident that occurred last week.
The troopers who investigated the accident said it happened early evening on a county road, out in the country.
A midsize car, with a young couple in front and two small children in the backseat, was traveling the road.
The adults each wore seat belts; the children were in child restraints.
Troopers said the couple began arguing about the radio and the man, who was driving, reached over to change the station. He took his eyes off the road just long enough for the car to strike a curve in the bridge.
The air bags deployed, but the 28-year-old driver still suffered leg injuries.
He was treated and released at a nearby hospital. His 30-year-old wife also had leg injuries and was admitted to the hospital.
A 2-year-old girl in the back seat had internal injuries and was hospitalized. Her 4-year-old brother suffered head and internal injuries and was taken by helicopter to a hospital in a nearby large city.
All because of an argument over a radio station. All because, for just a second, the driver took his focus off the road.
Debate continues throughout the country on whether texting while driving should be outlawed.
Meanwhile, one thing is sure. The number of accidents attributed to texting while behind the steering wheel continues to increase.
Local, state and national safety officials, citing results of traffic investigators' numbers, are increasing their lobbying for new, stronger laws to curb this situation.
But texting is only one example of distracted driving.
There are many — from reaching for something in the vehicle, to checking one's appearance in the mirror, to conversations — or confrontations — with passengers, to ... well, you name it. And all carry the potential to injure or kill.
By the way ...
Think about how you manage your driving responsibilities.
If you're not focused on the road, now is a good time to change your actions.
Enjoy your week and drive safely.
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