Over the cliff

Updated Aug 12, 2012

So, here in Alabama, where the CCJ World Headquarters is located (We’re in Tuscaloosa: We have a football team here you might have heard of) it became illegal this week to drive down the road while texting a message on your phone.

And in a (somewhat) related story, also this week, a college kid in Texas

    drove off a cliff

while texting on his phone. One of the last texts he sent before leaving the pavement was, “I need to quit texting because I could die in a car accident.”

It appears the kid is going to make it – although he’s sustained pretty serious injuries. And I don’t want to make light out of what is obviously a very tragic incident. But let’s just review here for a moment: Dude drove off a cliff while texting on his phone.

Think about that for a minute: This guy was so distracted typing away on this cellphone that he drove his automobile off a cliff. That’s a pretty darn distracted driver, right there.

You hear a lot of people say nowadays that “texting is a bad as a drinking and driving.” Well, I’m starting to think that it’s actually worse. Obviously, either one is pretty bad. But when people are driving off cliffs…

I’ve said before in the pages of CCJ that there is no wiggle room out there on this issue for fleets and truckers. You do not want to be in courtroom in the aftermath of an accident with some lawyer waving cellphone records in your face.

The really silly thing about texting and driving is that there’s an easy fix: Just call the person you’re communicating with and talk to them. And if you’re driving a truck or a big rig, make use of the practical (and increasingly affordable) hands-free cellphone technology. Volvo – always a leader when it comes to safety – already offers their VN tractor with free Bluetooth technology. So all you have to do is synch your phone and hit the road.

Texting and driving is a really bad idea. Exhibit A: Dude drove off a cliff while texting!

What more do you need to know?