Halloween safety: Beware of distracted drivers

It is dark, the weather is bad and drivers are distracted. Halloween by kreg.steppe
It is dark, the weather is bad and drivers are distracted. Halloween by kreg.steppe

Halloween is fast approaching so over the next few days I am recycling several articles on Halloween Safety.

Whether you are taking your kids trick or treating this Halloween or you are out with friends, when it comes time to cross the street, don’t assume that just because you have the right of way, that the oncoming car is going to stop.  They may just keep right on coming. 
Why?  Its’ probably because the driver is totally distracted by the phone conversation they are having or the text they are trying to read. 

The statistics are more frightening than any Halloween costume.

According to Distraction.Gov:

1. In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

2. Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of driv­ers who were distracted at the time of the crashes.

3.Drivers in their 20s are 23 percent of drivers in all fatal crashes, but are 27 percent of the distracted drivers and 38 percent of the dis­tracted drivers who were using cell phones in fatal crashes.

A Chicago Tribune article from a few years ago explains it all.

Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

A University of Utah study found that a driver using a cell phone while driving, either hand-held or hands-free, delays a person’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol level at the legal limit of .08 percent.

What can you do to keep you and your family from becoming a statistic?

1) Make sure that you keep your eyes on the cars as they approach the intersection.

2) Be sure that the car comes to a complete stop before you step before you step in front of it.

3) Look at the face of the driver and try to make some eye contact.

4) If you can’t see the driver’s face because they are glancing at the text message they are sending or receiving, don’t enter the intersection.

5) If you see the driver with a phone in their ear, even though this is illegal, they are probably paying more attention to their conversation than they are to you.

Just because you have the right to cross the street doesn’t mean you should.  You may be in the right.  You just don’t want to be dead right!

You can sign up for Act in Self Defense classes at: http://www.fonsecamartialarts.com/self-defense

If you are interested in a Personal Safety/Self-Defense Class for you, your high school, college, business, or organization contact me at ekress@ameritech.net.

Ed Kress
For over 40 years Ed Kress has been an instructor and student at the Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts, named "Best Overall Martial Arts School” worldwide by Black Belt Magazine. Master Fred Degerberg awarded Ed his 7th degree Black Belt in 2015. Growing up on Chicago’s Southside, Ed learned early in life to pay attention to his surroundings in order to avoid potentially dangerous people and situations. With the help of local law enforcement officers and directors of campus security, Ed developed a program focused on personal safety on the streets, and as it relates to the high school and college experience. Ed has trained thousands of adult men and women as well as high school and college students to improve their personal and situational awareness and, when necessary, how to physically defend themselves using their brains and a wide variety of martial arts techniques.

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