Distracted driving a danger for cars, pedestrians and bicyclists

Imagine you are driving down the highway in Boston, Massachusetts, and a car in front of you suddenly starts to drift near the border of the lane. It sharply corrects itself, but then it starts drifting the other way. Again, the vehicle corrects itself. You keep driving and eventually decide to pass this vehicle. As you drive by, you see a distinct white glow illuminating the driver’s face. You instantly know — this guy is texting while driving, and putting everyone around him at risk as a result.

The sad fact is, this isn’t even something you have to imagine. You could drive down any highway right now in any state and find a driver who is blissfully plugging away at their cellphone while driving their car. It’s frustrating and disheartening all at the same time.

Distracted driving is incredibly negligent, and in the state of Massachusetts there are heavy fines associated with the act. However, that still doesn’t deter people from making such a reckless decision when they are behind the wheel. Should they cause an accident, they can (and should) be held liable for their irresponsible behavior in civil court.

However, for as dangerous as distracted driving is for people in other cars, it is even more dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists. They are completely vulnerable out there, and a clueless driver that’s typing “LOL” to his or her friend will have little chance to see a biker or pedestrian, let alone stop in time. According to a recent study, bike and pedestrian fatalities attributed to a distracted driver has increased 50 percent from 2005 to 2010.

Source: Medical Daily, “Distracted Drivers Cause Pedestrian Deaths To Rise 50% From Texting, Talking On Phone, Or Eating At The Wheel,” Lecia Bushak, Nov. 30, 2013