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Please, put down your phone.

By Lisa Sursavage

Texting and driving – how often do you do it? Or, how often do you see another driver on the road looking down at their phone—up, down, up. Most of us are guilty of thinking we can multitask like this, even though we know it’s not the right thing to do. So then why do we think we can get away with it? Probably because odds are, we’ve gotten away with it over and over, so why would anything happen now? 

National Transportation Safety Board Acting Chairman Robert Sumwalt asked Jetco CEO Brian Fielkow to join him and around 20 other panelists in Washington, D.C., to discuss distracted driving and what can be done to help resolve this epidemic. The day was life-changing. 

As Brian and I sat in the massive, theatre-like NTSB boardroom, the panelists began to introduce himself/herself as someone who had lost a mother, father, sister, brother, spouse or child in a car wreck because the other person had been texting and driving. It was heart-wrenching. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as the families of the victims shared about their loved ones and discussed the importance of education and legislation regarding distracted driving. 

Brian offered a different perspective to the group: what can employers do to ensure texting and driving is not happening? At Jetco and Associated, using a handheld is a violation of our Serious Six Life Critical rules. Consequences are severe. You can watch him share about Jetco here.

But what about when you’re not behind the wheel of a commercial truck and are driving your own car? What about your teenage kids who are driving? Their friends? 

The Jetco team is asking that you sit down with your families and talk about how dangerous distracted driving is. Is a text message saying: “What are you up to?” or “Be there soon!” or “What’s for dinner?” worth a life? Of course not. The people sitting in that NTSB room are forever changed because of texts like those. They wake up every day and miss a loved one who was taken from them because of carelessness and recklessness. 

Jetco is going to have a stronger public voice in advocating against distracted driving, and as our role in this important message is more clearly defined, we will roll out our own campaign, asking for your support and involvement, too. Stay tuned. 

For more information to share with your loved ones, please visit http://stopdistractions.org/. 

In the meantime, please, please put your phones down when you get behind the wheel. That text isn’t worth it.