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Today in East Texas we are blessed with rain. Something we have all been hoping and praying would happen for months and months is happening! While many will get out and drive in the rain, the question remains will they use their old habits from when the roads are dry by continuing to use their cell phone and driving?

The California Highway Patrol recently reported that the Top 5 primary collision factors for drivers 15-19 years of age are unsafe speed, failure to yield the right of way, following too close, inattention and cell phone use. If you look at these five factors you see something that truly distinguished distracted driving from the other factors although they remain very clearly related. You don't have to use your cell phone to drive. You do however have to watch your speed, make a conscious decision on the right of way, make a conscious decision on how close to follow or the distance you should separate yourself from other drivers and you must concentrate on the task at hand in order to avoid the problem of inattention. Where does using a cell phone fit in with these other factors? You can't do any of these other four well or at all if you are using a cell phone. Why are 15-19 year olds a target here? Well, for many reasons. One, they are inexperienced. Two, they don't believe anything will impact them. Three, nothing bad has usually happened in their lives so it will not start now. I'm sure there are others but I will leave that to you to come up with and share with me on a comment.

So what does that have to do with driving in the rain today? Please remind your children when they drive today that you will not tolerate any cell phone use – period. If you are driving in this beautiful rain today, please put your cell phone down. You don't need to use it. Please be aware of the dangers that the weather itself creates and arrive alive.

Drive Safe – X THA TXT

Jeff Weinstein, Dallas injury lawyer

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