Texting, Driving, and Trains: A Cautionary Tale
A 19 year-old was cited for texting while driving (and other violations) after his car was struck by a train in Dalton, Georgia Thursday morning.
Investigators say that Luis Hernandez was driving east on McFarland Avenue and crossed the railroad tracks with the bars down and lights activated and two trains coming. Hernandez was able to miss the first train, but his silver Honda Accord was struck in the rear by the other train and his vehicle was dragged for a short, unknown distance. The train was stopped and the intersection blocked.
Hernandez was cited for texting while driving, disregarding a railroad crossing, and illegal window tint. Hernandez reported no injuries, but was taken to Hamilton Medical Center to make sure he was okay. He was treated and released later in the day.
There are plenty of distractions that drivers face everyday. Let's face it, we do a lot in our cars. Distractions from on-the-go snacking, fiddling with the radio, traffic, tiredness and sleepiness, and arguing kids, just to name a few, keep most of us from focusing on the road ahead of us. New national data shows that driver distraction is a key reason for car crashes and near-crashes.
If you are texting while driving you are taking your attention from the road. Your main job when you are behind the wheel of a motor vehicle is to pay attention to the road and drivers around you. There is strong data to show that teenage drivers are the most distracted of all drivers. Parents should talk to their teenaged drivers about using cell phones while driving; this includes talk OR text, because Georgia law says that drivers under the age of 18 may not use a cell phone AT ALL (this includes hands-free as well).
Remember, Georgia's “Texting While Driving” law is a “primary law,” meaning that if an officer sees you texting and driving they can pull you over and give you a ticket, even without having to witness some other violation of the law as they would have to with a “secondary law.”
Bottom line is, don't do it. While we cannot cut out every distraction that drivers face while driving, texting is definitely something we can all stop doing because, after all, IT IS THE LAW. It can wait. But if for some reason it can't, pull over to send your text, make your call, or read your email. It could save your life or the life of someone else.
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