The introduction and quick adoption by the public to Smart phones gives us constant connection to friends and family members. There are times when we may need to check in with our loved ones. This may be more of a requirement to young teenagers just beginning their independence. When I lived at home, even into my twenties, every time I went out in my car, I had to call my parents and check in when I safely reached my destination. Parents worry most about their children when they are behind the wheel because that’s when they are the most vulnerable to danger. Young people between 16 and 19 years old are at the highest risk of being involved in an auto accident.
Teens make up 10% of the population but represent 12% of car crash fatalities. One of the most common driving distractions for teenagers is texting. While teens admit that texting behind the wheel is very distracting, 50% of teenagers admit to sending and reading text messages while driving.
We, young people especially, value our constant connection to those around us, that we put our lives at risk just to respond to a comment with “LOL”. We may think we’re trying to be responsible by checking in with a family member or getting directions via a mobile device to avoid getting lost, but we are doing so in an irresponsible way, thus defeating the purpose.
However, there are Solutions to Texting and Driving.
The simplest solutions if you have a passenger, is to ask passenger to be the designated texter. Put him or her in charge of your phone and ask them to read and respond to any necessary messages. This Also works well if you’re going off directions. My husband acts as the driver and I play the navigator, reading and keeping him informed of where to turn.
Drive Safe.ly by ispeech is the App to Stop Distracted Driving . This app delivers verbal notifications and will read your text message and e-mails to you.
Another solution is to pull over if you need to send an emergency text, or if you need to check for an important message that you are waiting for. This is not in as instantaneous as the other two solutions, but it is quicker than another alternative; waiting until you reach your destination.
If you trouble waiting until you are stopped to check your text messages, there are applications, such as FleetSafer, iZup, and Driver First, that prevent you from viewing or receiving text messages while you are in a moving car.
For more Data on Texting while driving and what you can do to End Distracted Driving, please visit www.enddd.org