Texting while driving is a detrimental epidemic in the United States; it’s dangerous and has serious consequences. Statistics show that in 2011 at least 23 percent of auto collisions involved cell phones. That’s more than one million accidents! Texting makes a crash 23 times more likely to occur.
Texting while driving includes the acts of composing, sending, or reading a text message or email, or doing anything else on a cellular device while driving a vehicle. The minimum amount of time your eyes are diverted from the road because of texting is five seconds; if you’re driving 55 mph that equals driving the entire length of a football field without looking at the road. Think of how many obstacles there are for the 100 yards of a football field… can you imagine how many there would be on the road?
Although dangerous, it is not uncommon among teenage drivers or adults to text while driving. Seventy-seven percent of young adults are confident that they can safely drive a vehicle while texting. The percentage is so high because 48 percent of kids ages 12-17 have been in a vehicle while the driver was texting. If kids grow up seeing adults, parents, or caregivers texting and using their cellphones while operating motor vehicles, the kids are going to think it is acceptable.
Ways to prevent texting and driving:
- Ten states plus Washington, D.C., prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phone devices
- Thirty-nine states plus Washington, D.C., prohibit all drivers from text messaging while driving a motor vehicle
Use preventive technology to:
- Disable incoming calls and text message while driving
- Send auto-text replies to let whoever texted you know that you are driving
*Many cell phone providers offer FREE anti-texting and driving mobile applications.
Simply set a good example for the passengers in your vehicle:
- Place your phone in the backseat or the trunk if you are tempted to use it
No matter what the scenario is, a text message can wait until your vehicle is in park and the car is turned off. If you feel that it is urgent, pull your car over to the side of the road or a parking lot to respond to a text message you receive while driving. The satisfaction of responding to a text message while driving a vehicle is not worth the consequences: receiving a ticket; causing an accident; or even worse, fatal injury to you, your friends, or innocent bystanders.
Visit www.ncpc.org to learn more about wireless safety and for resources to help your family or community address other safety issues.