Driven To Distraction

Auto_Collision_Aftermath_iStock_000001647108XSmall1We are probably almost all guilty of being slightly distracted at one time or another, some of us more than others. Many of us would probably admit that we have actually driven while paying less than full attention to the road, our movement, and the surroundings.

Back in the "old days" of my personal injury practice, the common distractions were smoking, drinking, eating, adjusting the radio dial, talking to friends in the car, or disciplining children in the car.

Now, we have these distractions PLUS we've now added the following just to name a few: navigation systems, GPS, handheld computers or smart phones, laptops, listening to music on noise-cancelling earbuds, and eating in the car is now as easy as popping energy gels or bars into our mouths.

Let's not even talk about texting or finger nail painting, both of which have featured prominently in recent fatal car accidents nationwide many times over.

In short, it's so easy to get distracted that probably, at one time or another, almost all of us have been guilty of it.

I admit that more than a few times in the past, I attempted to check my email while driving, and admit to talking non-handsfree while driving. I'm sure if I was painfully honest about it, I'd admit to even worse than that as many of us would. I've worked hard over the past few years to rid myself of these habits and am proud to say that I am a much more focused driver now and really concerned with this problem personally, especially having been on the other end of it many times as a cyclist.

This is despite knowing that it is dangerous, potentially fatal to us and to others, illegal in many jurisdictions, and logically and obviously not a good decision.

Yeah, but smoking is bad for us and many of us still smoke. Being overweight is bad for us and many of us still carry a few (or more) extra pounds. Stress is bad for us and yet many of us continue to wallow in it. I won't even add the obvious things that eating too much, sleeping too little, and White Castle runs at 1:00 a.m. are bad for us too. We know this and yet we still do them.

We are imperfect and human, thus prone to illogical mistakes in judgment.

Sometimes those mistakes in judgment injure or kill others and alter permanently lives.

A recently produced video featured on the website called End Distracted Driving ( is an absolutely wonderful/terrible example of all this.

The video, produced by attorney, Joel Feldman, is about the loss of his 21 year old daughter, Casey, when she was struck by a momentarily distracted driver. All it takes is a moment of inattention to produce horrific and permanent results. What is particularly poignant about the video is the admission by Feldman that he, like most of us, has been an offender.

The loss of his daughter is obviously a horrible event and one that no one should ever have to experience. Casey's life was cut short not due to spite but due to inattention and negligence.

We can all be better than we are and focus a bit more, refrain from doing things that we know distract us, and save lives in the process.

I hope you will check out the website, watch the video, get the word out to friends and family, and let me know your thoughts.

Categories: General