Graham Hurdle's blog: 10 September 2013 - Jailed driver is a warning to all who text at the wheel
10 September 2013
Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World
In the news recently was a man who killed a couple when his lorry toppled on to their car as he read a text message.
He has been jailed for five years and three months and investigators found he had received a message from a friend one minute and 16 seconds before his lorry veered into the couple's car.
They later found he had sent and received almost 100 messages to and from the same friend in the three days leading up to the smash - all when the lorry's tachograph showed the vehicle was being driven.
It wasn't long ago that a survey by Brake and Direct Line revealed that 31% of at-work drivers admit to texting at the wheel, and earlier this year there was news of a woman who killed a man as she sent a text message while driving and was jailed for three years.
In my mind, those drivers who admit to texting aren't thinking through how incredibly dangerous their actions are. Either that or they think it's worth the gamble not to cause an accident or get caught.
Most texts are unnecessary. All text messages can wait. Show me a text message that had to be sent and was more vital than life itself.
Ask those who have been jailed if they feel, in hindsight, it was worth sending their texts. Speak to the families of the victims and hear the suffering that's been caused simply because someone decided to send somebody else a brief message, that could have waited, rather than drive safely.
I ask all company vehicle drivers who are susceptible to the temptation of texting whilst driving, 'is that text really worth risking another person's life for?' and 'are you also so desperate to send someone a message that you're willing to go to prison for it?'
It's time we put an end to texting at the wheel once and for all. Yet I'm sad to say I doubt we've seen the last headline about a driver killing someone and being imprisoned for this activity.