When words kill: Texting and driving a fatal combination
With school holidays beginning across the country and hundreds of thousands hitting the roads the NSW Government is desperate for people to stay off their phones while driving.
Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight and Nationals Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey and has joined forces with broadcaster Ray Hadley and the Sydney Swans to target roads users – particularly those under the age of 35 – to remind them of the dangers of using their phone while driving.
The Sydney Swans have backed the initiative by producing a video in conjunction with the NSW Government encouraging drivers to keep their phones “Out of Sight, Out of Mind.”
The Government has also been joined by parents who have lost teenagers to the distraction, including Vicki Richardson the mother of 20 year old Brooke Richardson, who died after her car slammed into a tree as she sent a text message. After starting Don’t-txt-n-Drive, Mrs Richardson joined with latest initiative urging parents to ensure their teens understand the dangers.
“Texting while driving increases the risk of a crash by 23 times, and the fact is the data doesn’t show just how many people are losing their lives due to this distraction,” Melinda said.
Every year 13,790 people under the age of 35 are charged with using their phone while driving. The temptation to send a ‘quick text’ or check a message means people are driving blind.
In a car travelling at 60km/hr, a two second text message means a driver’s eyes are off the road for up to 33 metres and at higher speeds, people are travelling hundreds of metres barely glancing at the road, turning their vehicles into unguided missiles.
With people checking their phones over 150 times a day, ask yourself, is your last text worth dying for?