Two weeks ago, I was on my way to work and was stopped at a four-way just around the corner from my house. There were four cars (including mine) at each stop sign, waiting for our turn to proceed.

 Before any of us had a chance to go, a big white car zooms around the black car waiting at the stop sign to my left and speeds through it. The woman driving was holding her cell phone against the top of the steering wheel (12 o’clock position) and was texting. She was driving with the palms of her hands and her eyes never left her phone.

 Today, I stopped at a Silver Lake Village store during lunch. As I was leaving the parking lot, the driver of a white SUV that appeared to be parked to my right suddenly swings around and would have run right into me head on if I had not layed on my horn. She was texting.

 Every once in a while before work, I like to stop in McDonald’s drive-thru for a coffee. And occasionally I will pick up fast food for lunch. I am not lying when I say that one out of every three times I am in line to pull up and place my order, the driver in front of me is texting on his or her phone and I have to honk my horn to get them moving along.

 I have to ask these drivers — what is so important that you can’t put your phone down while driving? Do you have a death wish? It amazes me that after all we hear and read about in the news that people still do this and think they are safe. They are not safe. One day they are going to kill or be killed due to texting and driving. None of the drivers I mentioned here were teenagers. They always get the bad rap for texting and driving, but it’s not always them. It’s men and women, adults who should know better.

 Distracted driving is a huge problem and seems to be getting worse. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving includes talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.

See texting on 10A

 Texting is the most alarming distraction, according to the NHTSA. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that is like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.

 You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. What part of that don’t people get?

Opinions offered in Just Sayin’ are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Tri-County Times or its staff. Email Vera at vhogan@tctimes.com.

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