In a matter of seconds, an ordinary ride can go from smooth to fatal.
Modern technology is part of the problem. A cell phone can be a lifesaver if a car breaks down in the middle of the night. But a cell phone is also a temptation for a chatty driver. Texting, radios and even TV can also divert drivers from the task at hand.
Federal Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has taken on this cause.
"Behind these numbers, are children, parents, and friends, their families torn apart by senseless, preventable crashes," LaHood said in an education video.
Parents need to sit down with their children and discuss this. Parents also need to clean up their own acts. Keeping both hands on the steering wheel and keeping both eyes on the road are not a new concept.
The Kanawha County Commission banned the use
of cell phones by county personnel when they are in county vehicles, except in emergency situations.
That's good policy for families, too.