The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Editorials

November 20, 2013

Keep calm and drive

It’s not just for teenagers anymore.

Distracted driving, that is.

A recent survey by State Farm Insurance notes that more and more older drivers are catching up to their younger counterparts with a sharp increase in smartphone ownership by drivers 30 and older.

State Farm spokesman Dave Phillips told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that smartphones are a distraction that sees no age barrier.

Don’t people ever get old enough to know better than to do dangerous things?

Apparently not.

And it’s not just talking and texting anymore. The survey said that the number of people who use their phones to access the Internet WHILE THEY ARE DRIVING has increased from 13 to 24 percent since 2009.

WHAT?!?!

That 24 percent includes drivers all over the age spectrum.

When and why did we become so self-absorbed, so self-important, that no phone call, no question, no text can wait until the car is parked?

Why can’t we just stop?

Yes, yes. We know lives are hectic today and multitasking is ever-present.

Driving itself is a multitask. We steer, scan the road for other drivers doing dumb stuff, turn on turn signals, turn off the wipers, change the radio station, make sure the kids are behaving in the backseat, checking the gas gauge ... . Get the picture?

The highway is the last place we should take on more distracting tasks.

Texting while driving and talking on a cell without the use of a hands-free device are illegal in West Virginia.

It also is just common sense not to do these things — including accessing the Internet — when you are otherwise engaged.

Our motto: Put down the phone. Keep calm and drive.

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Rain? What Rain?

    Community still enjoys auto fair despite uncooperative weather

    July 23, 2014

  • Do tell

    It’s hard to keep a secret in today’s here-a-camera, there-a-camera, everywhere-a-camera world. Whatever one does that is embarrassing is immediately posted on YouTube, Facebook or other social media of choice.

    July 22, 2014

  • Juvenile justice

    West Virginia nearly doubled the rate it sent youths to juvenile facilities from 1997 to 2011, in contrast to declining rates of youthful incarceration elsewhere in the United States.

    July 20, 2014

  • Thumbs — Saturday, July 19, 2014

    July 19, 2014

  • Do something

     Johnstown police have charged three men in the brutal murder early Sunday of a city academy student.

    July 18, 2014

  • Showcase

    For White Sulphur Springs, there’s hardly enough time to catch a breath.

    July 17, 2014

  • Bon appetit

    Agriculture and farm products can help diversify state economy

    July 16, 2014

  • Generous

    Outsiders can say what they will about West Virginians — but they can’t say we’re stingy.
    Time after time after time, we band together to help our neighbors out of a jam, aid someone down on their luck or otherwise in a bad way.

    July 15, 2014

  • Reminder

    Study points out old, new problems with W.Va. roads

    July 13, 2014

  • Thumbs — Saturday, July 12, 2014

    July 12, 2014