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Fire News in Focus
by Adam K. Thiel

Texting and driving: 'I've done it'

We have a long laundry list of excuses why it is OK for us to text and drive, but it is time to kick the habit

By Adam K. Thiel

Editor's note: Chief Adam K. Thiel confesses that he's a reformed texting driver and urges us all to stop this very dangerous practice. 

The video in this story is definitely powerful.

Hopefully the underlying message will resonate with teenagers and even, perhaps, with some other drivers.

So let's all be completely honest: have you ever texted while driving?

I've certainly done it in the past, but I'm making a concerted effort (it's tough) not to text and drive, both now and in the future.

We have plenty of excuses: "we're professional drivers;" "we have to be able to text and drive to handle emergency responses;" "it's OK if it's not a heavy fire apparatus;" and others.

But really, are any of those legitimate, given the worst-case scenario?

There is plenty of literature to support the idea that texting while driving, or for that matter doing anything that causes a distraction, is dangerous. As a result, many states have adopted some type of law(s) affecting texting, or even talking (hands-free or otherwise), while operating a motor vehicle.

Sure, these laws are difficult to enforce, and it's relatively easy to surreptitiously text, email or talk when nobody is looking.

But we, of all people, should know better ... think about it.

Stay safe!
 

About the author

With more than two decades in the field, Chief Adam K. Thiel FireRescue1's editorial advisor is an active fire chief in the National Capital Region and a former state fire director for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Chief Thiel's operational experience includes serving with distinction in four states as a chief officer, incident commander, company officer, hazardous materials team leader, paramedic, technical rescuer, structural/wildland firefighter and rescue diver. He also directly participated in response and recovery efforts for several major disasters including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Tropical Storm Gaston and Hurricane Isabel.



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