This Father’s Day, Put Down the Cell Phone and Focus on the Road

June 17, 2011
A woman who lost her father in a car crash caused by a distracted driver is urging others to honor their own dads this Father’s Day by putting down their cell phones and focusing on the road.

Charlene Sligting-Doud’s father, John Sligting, was killed June 13, 2007, when his motorcycle was cut off by a teen driver who rolled through a stop sign while talking on her cell phone.

“Driving is a cognitive action. Talking on your cell phone is a cognitive action. Our brains are not wired to toggle between two cognitive things,” Sligting-Doud said in a new Faces of Distracted Driving video released by the U.S. Department of Transportation. “I encourage anybody who watches these videos to pause for a moment before they pick up that phone to make that phone call.”

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates more than 100,000 crashes per year involve texting drivers. About 1.2 million crashes involve drivers distracted by their cell phones. Driving while using a cell phone requires the brain to multitask, a process it cannot do safely. Drivers focusing their attention on cell phone conversations instead of the road have a tendency to look at but not truly “see” up to 50 percent of the driving environment, which means they miss critical information such as stop signs, red lights and pedestrians.

Charlene Sligting-Doud manages the HEARTS Network at NSC. HEARTS, which stands for Honoring Everyone Affected, Rallying the Survivors, shares the stories of those whose lives have been changed by crashes involving teen drivers. Visit http://www.nsc.org/safety_road/
TeenDriving/Pages/HEARTSNetwork.aspx
to learn more.

“My father was a hero to many,” said Sligting-Doud. “He served in the military, he was a firefighter and he was an amazing father. Losing him devastated my family. People need to put their cell phones down and focus on the task of driving. Don’t spend Father’s Day sharing memories – spend Father’s Day making memories.”

The distracted driving video can be viewed at http://www.distraction.gov/faces/john-sligting.html. For more Faces of Distracted Driving videos, visit http://www.distraction.gov/faces.

About the Author

Laura Walter

Laura Walter was formerly senior editor of EHS Today. She is a subject matter expert in EHS compliance and government issues and has covered a variety of topics relating to occupational safety and health. Her writing has earned awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the Trade Association Business Publications International (TABPI) and APEX Awards for Publication Excellence. Her debut novel, Body of Stars (Dutton) was published in 2021.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!