Distracted driving has devastating consequences

Posted at 4:29 PM, Mar 04, 2017
and last updated 2018-11-03 15:19:48-04

Nov. 7, 2000, was the last day someone did not die in a car crash on Texas roads.

"Our definition of distracted driving is if your mind is off the task, your eyes are off the road, and your hands are off the wheel, you are distracted," Garry Parker, a former DPS trooper, said.

Saturday morning Parker shared shocking facts regarding distracting driving to shed light on the state-wide issue. He said society today has been conditioned to view traffic violations as non-criminal and speed limits as suggestions.

"When you have people that are in charge or in control of 6,500 lbs. of Bondo, rust and steel, it's nothing more than an oversized missile traveling at 70-ish, 80-ish," Parker added.

Ninety-six people die per day in car crashes.

Recently, Central Texans have experienced first hand the devastating consequences of distracted driving.

"We'll have drivers actually with both hands off the wheel, steering with their knee, filming or photographing the scene with their cell phone as they drive by. There's no doubt yesterday that that led to some of our crashes," Sgt. Patrick Swanton of the Waco Police Department said last month, after a crash took the life of Golden Parsons.

She was a well-known author throughout Central Texas.

Parsons died after the car she was in the back seat of was hit by a distracted driver who was taking pictures of another crash.

"When we believe that our drive time is our down time, you're sharing the road with more people than are designed to be on that road. So, that's when we really need to be more focused than any other time of the day," Parker said.

Parker finished his presentation by asking those in attendance:

What is more important to you? That text or video? Or making it home safely to your wife, husband and children?

Distractions can wait. It isn't worth it.

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