Texting while driving

20 Oct 2016
A Practicing Parent

Many of us spend countless hours in our car, especially on weekends. Everyone knows that texting while driving is a huge NO-NO. But aren’t we all a little guilty? Come on…. have you really never done it? Not even when you’re stopped at a red light? Perhaps you’ve tried to get Siri to read the text to you? (She never does work well, does she?)

Texting while driving is something adults do more and more often even though we know it can be deadly. What about our children? Are your kids of age to drive yet? Do you want them texting and driving? Is it possible to teach text-refraining behavior?

As I thought about these questions, I pulled up some painful stats (not while I was driving, I promise:

  • texting-2Over 2.5 million people in the U.S. are involved in road accidents each year. Of these, 1.6 million have a cell phone involved in them.
  • 37,000+ people die in automobile crashes in the U.S every year
  • Every year, about 421,000 people are injured in crashes involving a driver who was distracted in some way.
  • Each year, over 330,000 accidents caused by texting while driving lead to severe injuries.
  • 1 out of 4 car accidents in the US are caused by texting while driving.
  • Texting and driving is 6 times more likely to get you in an accident than drunk driving.

From: distractedriveraccidents.com

Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.

From: distraction.gov

This is an astounding number of traffic accidents. At the rate we’re going, the American population will be extinct in the not too distant future. Almost 80% of all distracted drivers are distracted because they were texting while driving.

Over half the road accidents (64%) in the States have cell phones involved. Ugh.

I can’t get over that last bullet point: you’re more likely to live if you get in a car with someone wasted than with someone distracted by texting. WOW.

Texting while driving is a concern for parents and for teens. I believe modeling good behavior is one way to stop this risky behavior. We need to stop texting and driving but our phones are our lifelines. Can we stay connected and still avoid the risk of an accident?

I found some tips floating around the web world that help decrease driver distraction.

  • Turn your phone onto silent.
  • Completely turn your phone off.
  • Put your phone out of reach (in the trunk)
  • Download an app that prevents you from texting and driving.
  • If someone is in the car, ask them to type for you.

Is this possible? Is it something most of us are willing to do? My son and daughter are not of driving age yet, but I know all eyes are on me. My husband and I are their role models and we have to do and say the same thing that we’ll expect of them. I need to be diligent because no text is worth the dire consequences of an accident due to distracted driving.

How do you handle this issue with your kids? Do you say anything if you see an Uber driver shooting off a text? Do you discuss it with your kids? If you have any strategies, please share them with us in the comments section.



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