It is said that in the time it takes to read a short text message while driving, you have passed the full length of a football field without looking. Considering the damage that is possible across such a stretch of road, we know we should always do our best to drive safely. We should leave the phones alone, be sure we’ve had enough rest, and never, ever drink and drive. We want the streets to be safe for everyone, but, not everyone takes safe driving as seriously as they should. From people who drive recklessly to those who can’t put the phone away or call a taxi after drinking, there are plenty of reasons we should all remind each other to be safe on the road.
The laws across the U.S. are changing to reflect a tough stance on dangerous driving situations. Harsh penalties for hand-held cellphone use, texting while driving and drunk driving continue to reflect the public’s need for safer streets. 44 U.S. states have banned texting while driving. In 2014, four more states added first-offense ignition interlock requirements to their drunk driving laws, and there are currently three more states with pending legislative changes regarding ignition interlocks. Because of the success rates of ignition interlock programs, those changing laws are a great model of how to encourage a person to make the right choice, without taking away any freedom to drive.
Driving safely starts with following traffic laws, but it doesn’t end there. We all have the choice to put down our phones when driving, or to call a taxi when we’ve had too much to drink. Safe driving is an important part of our daily lives, and knowing we can arrive at our destination unharmed is a priceless feeling. By staying aware of our own role in safe driving, and by encouraging others to be safe behind the wheel, we can eliminate the driving dangers we all face every day.