Studies show that’s the equivalent of driving with a .19 blood alcohol level. To reach a .19 BAC, a180-pound man would have to put down nine drinks. You can see for yourself on this blood alcohol level calculator. Drive that way and you risk criminal penalities, according to the calculator, not just a hefty DUI. Maybe it’s not enough to warrant the “death possible” status, but I’d say driving that drunk bumps you into that zone.
Because this month is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Washington State Patrol is conducting crackdowns on distracted drivers. It’s a primary offense here in Washington State, which means that if you’re spotted driving anywhere, be it stopped at a downtown Bellingham stoplight or sailing along I-5, you could be stopped just for looking at your phone instead of the road. You don’t need to be doing anything else, like swerving in your lane or running a stop sign to be pulled over and ticketed for distracted driving. Here’s the news story about the crackdown on distracted driving on Washington roads.
As you can tell from just about any page on my website, I work with a lot of victims of distracted drivers. It’s because I feel these folks are the victims of people who don’t really cause accidents – that’s not the right word. An accident means something is unintentional, and while people who cause distracted driving accidents certainly don’t mean to, they are still choosing to do something that is proven to be lethally dangerous. We have a choice every time our cell phone dings while we’re driving. To answer then or to wait until we’re stopped. We’re not Pavlov’s dogs, we have the ability to weigh possible consequences of our actions and make a different choice. We can choose to put the cell phone in the backseat, or download an app that lets people know automatically that we’ll get back to them once we’re not driving. We can choose to take that extra five minutes it takes to apply make up or eat breakfast before getting in the car. We can choose to put the book down if we’re driving – seriously.
So please take the opportunity this month to think about your driving habits. It could save your life, or that of your loved one.