April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, but what do we really know and believe about distracted driving? We tell ourselves multiple lies every day when we drive: I can multi-task without a problem; I have a Bluetooth so it’s no problem to talk and drive; talking on a cellphone is just like talking to a passenger in the car; I only use my phone at stop lights or stop signs; and a great deceiver – I use talk to text I’m all good!!
We are great at fooling ourselves to perceive that driving conditions are safer than they really are. You just read the text – you don’t respond! It’s just a quick call! People who want to continue to use technology to stay connected while they drive are going to look for any evidence that it is okay to do so. But it is not.
Your brain can keep track of only about four objects at any one time. How many more things do we actually track while driving? What thing gets deleted from our visual field and memory retention? It only takes once to miss a pedestrian, to not see the vehicle ahead of you slowing for a turn, or the red light at a busy intersection. You need your brain drive, and when we overload the brain with two very difficult tasks, driving and trying to communicate, driving loses.
We need to stop fooling ourselves. Thousands of people are dying for the sake of calls and texts probably none of which are worth a human life.
It only takes once. Please do not drive distracted.
Lt. Angel Burgos, Ohio State Highway Patrol
Sandy Wiechman, Safe Communities of Wood County