The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

texting and driving to death

September8

I am deeply troubled. And, on my knees, figuratively and really, over this. Perhaps my perspective is based on having been a fire fighter in Colorado. I was often witness to the tragic result of automobile accidents. The sight of only one child splayed out across the hood of a car will always be enough.

That was public service video, but it’s happened to someone’s daughters, some where.

According to a feature rich study I found, an accident is likely to occur twenty three (23) times more often if a driver is texting behind the wheel (read the facts here).

I understand these efforts circle and permeate the internet and our email boxes daily. But, it’s part of our culture to become quickly enured to things – even the horrific – until they crash our own lives in dramatic fashion. Then we feel hopeless within a society that simply moves on.

Oddly, that youtube video has and will likely haunt me. In fact, I am choking up a bit as I tap furiously, reader, away at this Blog post.

texting and drivingWith some simple on-line research we can quickly find many examples of videos and television shows and public announcements regarding driving while speaking on cellular telephones and texting (and, emailing). The focus is almost always the horrific results. To drive the point home, we see the emphasis on children.

This is not gratuitous shock. Nor is it taking reckless advantage, and exploiting children for profit.

I have witnessed angry men using children as human shields. But, here, we have man, at least trying to save children from windshields.

I keep thinking of Haley Anne and her friends (Shockers?). In the truck all the way to and from soccer practice Wednesday night. All they did was text. It’s what they do.

That (probably by now) 17 year old girl in the above video courtesy of Dr. Phil (a trained ambusher as opposed to teacher) simply had no clue. Ignorance is the key word there. Simply no perspective. No pain in her life. No example. Much of what she was saying was more defensiveness possibly driven by some tiny inner voice telling her she is “bad”, but not sure how to conduct herself.

My own Haley Anne does that.

This is a great opportunity to teach her and other kids before they get into those cars and kill one another.


But, it’s also what adults are doing. And, it’s getting worse.

And, anyone that drives while speaking into a cellular telephone crammed under their chin – or, worse yet gripped in one of their sweaty hands, as opposed to managing a steering wheel also needs to understand this must stop NOW. The statistics associated with accidents and fatalities and texting are even worse. It has to stop NOW.

Imagine some corporate CEO angrily focused on his Blackberry when he looks up, only at the last moment, and see’s my Haley Anne’s horror-stricken face as he plows into her car because he wandered into her lane.

Haley Anne wants me to drive her to school more often. Its a good time for she and I to chat (we just can’t do Strawberries and Cream from Starbucks every morning). I saw the Wales-originated texting video late yesterday. As I was driving with Haley Anne this morning I was “situationally aware” of people all around me in the traffic. I was noticing that most people were on cellular telephones, and I imagined they were texting as well.

Catastrophe is all around us just waiting to come out of no where.

I believe I am preparing to embark on a cause. Surely you must all agree with me that the improper use of a cellular telephone or texting while driving should be, in no uncertain terms, illegal. By the time I see this through – and, oh, I shall, I want to feel like I had, if only small, a part in such a law seeing its way through legislature and my community.

This Blog gets a lot of attention. And, I want to use that power and influence for continued good. I have never requested this before… Please forward this post to people you know – perhaps with an emphasis to parents, and avid texters (of all ages).

So… Going forward, I will only speak on my Cellular telephone if I can use my hands-free systems (and, I wonder if that might still be problematic). And, I refuse to text while driving at all (actually this is fairly easy for me as I text as little as possible any way). I deeply value my family, friends and clients. But, I am more committed to their personal safety.

And, if I have the chance to ask someone I see driving and speaking on a cellular telephone (and, I suspect they are texting) I will say something to them – politely, but certainly firmly.

“When you look at something like cellphone use or texting, most people already know these behaviors are not safe, but they do them anyway,” said Anne T. McCartt, senior vice president for research at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit research group financed by auto insurers. “But the challenge in highway safety is that we do unsafe things day after day and don’t end up in a crash, and so I think, over time, people go back to their everyday behaviors.”

God help anyone foolish enough to harm my family if they choose to be so unreasonably selfish.

I am a father; certainly a determined fellow. And, when provoked, I am formidable.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

42 Comments to

“texting and driving to death”

  1. Avatar September 8th, 2009 at 10:18 am texting and driving to death GF power Says:

    [...] See the original post here:  texting and driving to death [...]


  2. Avatar September 8th, 2009 at 12:32 pm bbwebb Says:

    Well done sir! Consider me posse to your cause!


  3. Avatar September 8th, 2009 at 12:34 pm Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    Thanks BB.

    I shant look for a text from you and your car.

    Cork


  4. Avatar September 8th, 2009 at 2:30 pm bbwebb Says:

    A convert can be a mighty force! Once I’ve turned, I’ve turned. Narry a one sir. Instead, imagine designated ‘texters’ or more railways and sky shuttles. I hope to live to see ‘beam me up Scotty’ action realized. Or better yet, telepathic communique. The options to texting in the car are limitless. I’ll focus there AND on my driving!


  5. Avatar September 8th, 2009 at 2:34 pm Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    A champion now amongst us.

    Cork


  6. Avatar September 8th, 2009 at 5:09 pm Aaron Says:

    Shameless plug, but the folks at my company – Nuance – have decided to “try” to mitigate this problem a bit by continuing to evolve hands-free and speech-enabled navigation and text entry on mobile devices. While this doesn’t completely eliminate the dangers associated when driving becomes a secondary activity in the car (that’s really what it is when we text and/or talk), like hands-free headsets helps to capture at least a bit more of the driver’s attention while they multi-task.

    I wish I could say I am absent of guilt on this issue, but I will say that I am aware of the dangers I pose when I talk on the phone or – and I do this rarely – text or email while driving. Regardless, being aware of the danger is not enough. It goes back to a post I had on my blog a while ago that stated most of the hurt in the world is not caused by intentional acts, but by unintentional acts with known but unacknowledged consequences. Some might call it selfish ambition. I just call it selfish. And stupid.

    May we all, with me first, start to wise up.


  7. Avatar September 8th, 2009 at 5:32 pm Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    This is well met news Aaron.

    I appreciate your efforts and the fact you work with a group of people that recognize a problem, and seek solutions.

    Meanwhile, as unintentional the potentially tragic result might be, we now have scienter and understand that we risk other, and possibly innocent lives, if we text and drive. It need be no different than drinking and driving.

    Thank, my dear and true friend, for raising your hand.

    Cork


  8. Avatar September 8th, 2009 at 7:22 pm Bill Powis Says:

    boomer,

    One cannot read your blog and not think about how depersonalized our communication is already. I “tweet” not but am on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Neither of these promote genuine human interaction, at least rarely. Texting a colleague or a client or a family member about something that is either time-sensitive or business critical makes sense. But not while operating a 2,000 lb. vehicle moving more than 10mph. Please, if not the logic of it all just the physics make it fraught with ugly possible outcomes. But, blathering on about nothing while driving or as many of my young-ish friends do warrants more than an admonition. It warrants a state law here in GA prohibiting it 24/7 while driving. Yes? I will indeed sign the petition. LET’S GET THIS INTO LAW.

    PS

    I forwarded this blog to my two daughters who both learned to drive in LA.

    Thanks and my regards,
    Bill Powis


  9. Avatar September 8th, 2009 at 8:19 pm Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    Pastor Bill – another champion.

    Well said.

    We apparently have over 900 comments for this post. So, please forgive me if it take awhile to respond to each of you.

    Cork


  10. Avatar September 8th, 2009 at 8:25 pm Marc Says:

    Brian,

    I posted that video on my facebook page a few weeks back. As a police officer who has responded a number of times to accidents involving the loss of life, it really hit home. A firefighter commented on youtube that it was a very realistic video. I can say the same.

    Paying attention while driving is of the utmost importance.

    Just under three years ago this coming St. Patty’s Day, I was involved in a serious accident while escorting a funeral procession. I was passing the procession on my motor to get the next open intersection. A mourner from the service, who was not going graveside, had entered the procession as it left the church. He missed his turn and made the next left. Unfortunately, he took me out in the process. We’ll probably never know for sure exactly what he was doing when he turned in front of me. I suspect he was trying to dial out on his cell phone or was just plain focused on something else.

    In one split second, he changed my life and the lives of my family. I was in Grady Hospital for 12 days….6 of them in a coma. That was followed by 3 months of rehab with Shepherd Pathways, the outpatient facility for the Shepherd Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries. The good thing…I’m still here and I’ve made it back to work. The therapists said I’m the first officer they’ve treated who made it back to full duty. I made a miraculous recovery. When they brought me in to the ER, I was very close to dead. Based on where I was at that point, they expected me to go to inpatient rehab for 3 months, follow by 3 more months of outpatient treatment.

    Driving is a divided attention task that forces us to focus on multiple activities at on time – maintaining speed, maintaining our lane, where are we, what are the other cars doing etc etc.. . Lots to focus on while we control over a thousand pounds of steel moving at 25 to 70 miles per hour. One split second can change everything forever.

    Thanks for the email and for sending it out.

    Marc


  11. Avatar September 8th, 2009 at 8:39 pm Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    Thanks for checking in Marc. And for your service to our community as well. I am sure we are all delighted you are back on your feet, and setting a continued example. These words from you will add naught but greater perspective for this effort.

    This is a powerful and intimidating example of what is happening on the roads.

    When we don’t use our heads behind the wheel everyone around us is at risk.

    And, what’s possibly more insidious is that more people text and speak on cellular telephones while driving than actually drink and drive.

    Cork


  12. Avatar September 9th, 2009 at 2:59 am Mark B. Fonseca Says:

    Boomer –

    Thank you for the passion behind your cause; I was guilty today of texting while driving – very timely for me. Your blog helped me realize how selfish, self-centered and irresponsible I am being. Please let me know how I can use my gifts, talents and abilities to participate with you.

    “If you set yourself on fire – people will come to watch you burn.”

    Mark B. Fonseca


  13. Avatar September 9th, 2009 at 11:33 am Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    Our children inspire action. It’s common ground.

    I believe the example is the best start. No more texting and speaking on cellular telephones (without a hands-free system) while driving.

    Discuss it with your kids around the dinner table. Have them talk about it at school for projects.

    Cork


  14. Avatar September 9th, 2009 at 4:53 pm Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    Thanks mate.

    And, it’s setting the example for those around us that will drive the point home.

    Cork


  15. Avatar September 9th, 2009 at 4:46 pm Van Vogel Says:

    I am fowarding this to everyone I know!!!!


  16. Avatar September 9th, 2009 at 8:51 pm Shocker Tiger Says:

    Wow! I promise that I will NEVER EVER text while driving (when the time comes). You have my word on it! :]


  17. Avatar September 9th, 2009 at 8:54 pm Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    My applause as well as my gratitude.

    Cork


  18. Avatar September 11th, 2009 at 9:18 am stop texting, start talking « The Unsinkable brian cork Says:

    [...] September 11, 2009 in Being a Dad, Culture, Education, In the News, Technology | Tags: brian cork, Hope, Technology, Driving, Tragedy, communication, texting, texting and driving, fireman, children, texting and driving to death | by Brian Patrick Cork This would be a follow up to that barn-burner of a post: texting and driving to death. [...]


  19. Avatar October 6th, 2009 at 9:10 pm David Shavzin Says:

    Full disclosure, I co-founded Safe Teen Driving Club and have been immersed in these issues for several years. While I cannot claim to be an expert, I have certainly seen a lot and received too many calls from grieving parents who have a lost a child. We know that education, awareness and practical solutions are critical.

    Having to actually argue or convince people that texting should be illegal is insanity at best. Taking your eyes off the road for just 2 seconds at 60MPH puts you 176 feet down the road – that’s 12 car lengths! Where do we have the luxury of 12 car lengths? Is there still anyone out there who will say texting while driving is ok?

    Ok, what about cell phones? While texting is the extreme, cell phone use while driving is bad. And, I can’t take us (me too) off the hook when using it hands-free. Experts will tell you that talking on the phone, even hands-free, is a significant distraction because your brain is engaged elsewhere. It’s simply best to pull over for an urgent call.

    On U.S. roads, nearly 5,000 teens die every year and 300,000 go to emergency rooms. Allow me to be brutal…this is a Parenting Issue! The human brain is not fully developed until the early 20’s…thinking through consequences is not fully programmed until then. I am a parent – what is our most important responsibility? Keeping them alive until adulthood!

    Do you know if they are talking and/or texting while driving? How? Ever verified? According to the National Safety Council, 58% of teens crash their cars in the first year of driving. These are all good kids, our kids. Ok, I know this may start conversations to fill the blogs, but let’s check up on our children. Look at their phones to see if they were using them in the car.

    Yes, we even advocate GPS tracking. Teen GPS should be a parenting tool and a teaching tool. Hmmm…not sure about that one? Take a look at two articles in the Learning Center at SafeTeenDrivingClub.org. In the Monitoring Your Teens section, “When I Monitor My Teen’s Driving…Am I Spying?” by Dr. Robin Kirby and “Driving is a Privilege” by Dr. Michael Aisenberg

    Our most important mission in life is to keep them alive into adulthood…let’s all help each other make that job a bit easier.

    David Shavzin


  20. Avatar October 7th, 2009 at 1:10 pm Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    The more light shed on this topic, the more truth we’ll all see. And, the better action we can take.

    Cork


  21. Avatar December 2nd, 2009 at 8:57 am Rusty Lindquist Says:

    Thank you. I’ve now felt the sheer feeling of terror in a way that I haven’t for a long time. With 6 kids, one of them quickly approaching driving age, this caused me to be deeply disturbed. I will certainly share this with others, and link to it from my own blog. I appreciate the impact you’ve now had on the lives of me and my family.

    Rusty Lindquist


  22. Avatar December 2nd, 2009 at 10:06 am Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    Thank you for that affirmation Rusty.

    This represents a grim reality and an alarming dark-side relative to technology and innovation.

    But, it’s also an opportunity to connect with our children over a vital lesson – not the least of which is a reminder that nothing beats one-on-one communication. So, a delicious irony presents itself where our own fear can generate the potential to actually improve the quality of relationships (and living certainly helps).

    Cork


  23. Avatar December 3rd, 2009 at 10:46 am that would be Degevolution « The Unsinkable brian cork Says:

    [...] Meanwhile, Rusty and I found ourselves discussing his life ambitions this afternoon. Our dialogue, however, has it’s genesis with me commenting on his Blog – which in turn had him visiting my Blog, and stumbling upon one of my posts: Texting and Driving To Death. [...]


  24. Avatar December 10th, 2009 at 1:56 pm harpo Says:

    OMG! This is brilliant. Everyone must read it. Pass it onnnnnnn.

    O


  25. Avatar January 14th, 2010 at 7:21 am another Mary’s call to Action « The Unsinkable brian cork Says:

    [...] NOTE: Please just don’t text her (especially as she might be driving). To make the best sense of that plea, read: texting and driving to death. [...]


  26. Avatar January 14th, 2010 at 8:05 am another Mary’s Call to action « We Are Shockers Says:

    [...] NOTE: I’ll not add her cellular telephone number because we don’t wanting you to text her (especially as she might be driving). To make the best sense of that plea, read: texting and driving to death. [...]


  27. Avatar January 25th, 2010 at 11:07 pm Courting Possibility. « BB Webb as BB Webb! Says:

    [...] misplaced it. (It’s so small)! I do however pull over to text, (thanks to Brian Cork’s texting and driving blog post). (Check out the recent news regarding texting and driving….encouraging indeed). Doing [...]


  28. Avatar February 1st, 2010 at 2:34 am Pictures on LinkedIN and Resumes « The Human Capital BLOG Says:

    [...] Post: texting and driving to death [...]


  29. Avatar March 7th, 2010 at 9:29 am The Truth: apple changes the world Before its technology is in stores « The Unsinkable brian cork Says:

    [...] no “padding”-while-driving, [...]


  30. Avatar March 8th, 2010 at 6:17 am The Truth: apple changes the world Before its technology is in your hands « The Unsinkable brian cork Says:

    [...] no “padding”-while-driving, [...]


  31. Avatar March 17th, 2010 at 6:26 am it’s Revolution at Hopewell Middle School – Part I « The Unsinkable brian cork Says:

    [...] a good cause. Reasonable examples of this include: Berkeley’s Contribution To Terrorism and Texting and Driving to Death. My heart is on my sleeve daily, and what’s on my mind is, more often than not, in these [...]


  32. Avatar May 1st, 2010 at 6:20 am texting and driving legislation « The Unsinkable brian cork Says:

    [...] } Point of relevance: texting and driving to death by Brian Patrick [...]


  33. Avatar December 8th, 2010 at 12:33 pm Holli Says:

    I think it’s also important that we take a stance as non-driving texters. I frequently have people who text (or talk to me on google chat) Who tell me they are driving. I immediately tell them to stop and sign off of google chat or stop replying to their text, I think it’s important to discourage this behavior by not responding to it as well.


  34. Avatar December 8th, 2010 at 1:53 pm Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    Well done Holli.

    Thanks for being part of the solution.

    Cork


  35. Avatar February 17th, 2011 at 8:36 am The Unsinkable brian cork » Blog Archive » why Facebook might be a great bad story Says:

    [...] of the no texting and driving movement. read more about that here, so you know what to expect: texting and driving to death. do [...]


  36. Avatar March 25th, 2011 at 12:12 pm The Unsinkable brian cork » Blog Archive » brian cork is ironically Stupid Says:

    [...] 4. texting and driving to death. [...]


  37. Avatar March 31st, 2011 at 8:13 am David Quail Says:

    Stealing From John lennon…”Life is what happens to you while you busy making other plans”. Everyone think in fractions of a second, your here & then your gone, Your life and the lives of others are far more important than a text. Be Safe Everyone. You have one life, and so does the other person on the road. respect Life it is a gift.


  38. Avatar March 31st, 2011 at 9:28 am Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    Thank you, David. And, welcome, here.

    Perhaps some good news, beyond surviving the incident, is that I was not texting while driving. In fact, I was thinking about this very thing moments before I was hit. And, ironically, the last text message I did send was from the Home Depot parking lot to John Adamski, about you!

    Cork


  39. Avatar July 15th, 2011 at 2:18 am marsh Says:

    Hi. Hope you liike my new music video about the dangers of texting and driving – Won’t Start Texting
    http://bit.ly/och1oh


  40. Avatar July 15th, 2011 at 8:56 am Brian Patrick Cork Says:

    Well done, says I, Mr. Marsh.

    Both you, and this important message, are certainly welcome, here.

    Cork


  41. Avatar November 3rd, 2011 at 2:10 pm The Unsinkable brian cork™ » Blog Archive » don’t text and FLY Says:

    [...] I’ll venture it was honoring, my committed fight against texting and driving. for more details around that read: texting and driving to death. [...]


  42. Avatar February 28th, 2013 at 8:45 am The Unsinkable brian cork™ » Blog Archive » fit and FAST Says:

    [...] (I’m lucky God took my Truck). that changed many aspects of my life view (including texting: texting and driving to death) and fitness [...]


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