I cannot post today without, on the behalf of the Chai Mommas, remembering all those who lost their lives, loved ones and more because of the tragedy of 9.11.01. We will always remember. We will never forget.
With the thoughts of 9.11 on my mind and all the death and loss that surrounded it, I write today’s post. Often, we cannot prevent or avoid horrible situations from entering our lives and of those we care for and love. Often, we are left helpless, defenseless as something terrible unfolds itself around us. But sometimes, we are in control of more than we acknowledge. And today, I want to take a moment to talk about a topic that I think about every single day when I get into the car. Texting while driving or as some say the new drunk driving. I know a few parents who are looking at getting their teenagers onto a course similar to this ca traffic school course, so they can learn the importance of safe driving because distracted driving is so common nowadays.
The other day, I was at a stop light next to a young woman in her SUV. I could see through my window that there were at least three (what appeared to me as high school aged) girls with her. As I glanced over, she was texting away. The light turned green, she didn’t even notice until she heard the sound of a loud beep behind her. We ended up together at the next stop light too, and this time I was in front of her. I watched her through my rear view mirror as she continued to text. The light turned green…she noticed this time. But she also decided to quickly switch lanes and almost side swiped the car next to her which made that car come really close to colliding into a bicyclist that was riding along in the far right side of the road. Things could have ended tragically…so thankful they didn’t but in this case the tragedy could have been prevented.
I can admit that I’ve been guilty of texting and driving too, I used to do it too often until I read https://www.ohiovalleypilawyers.com/driver-distraction/ and realised the dangers of it. Some people aren’t aware of the dangers of texting while driving as they don’t realise how much danger they’re putting themselves and other poeple in by taking their eyes off the road. However, people need to realise more accidents are occuring due to people looking at your phones. If you’ve been involved in a car accident then you may need to check out someone like this St. Louis Texting and Driving Lawyer. I think most of us can admit to doing it and admitting that we know it’s wrong to do it. And yet, we still do it. But texting while driving is never a good idea. What can happen in that instant where your focus is not on your driving could change someone’s life in an instant…your life in an instant. (If you need any proof that driving and texting don’t go together, watch AT&T’s 10-minute documentary, “The Last Text.”)
Think about that. Think about it every time you get into your car. I do now more than ever…especially now that I’m a mom and am responsible for this little human being who needs me no matter what. The consequences are too serious not to.
Recently, I came across the AT&T It Can Wait campaign online whose mission is to educate people – especially teens – about the dangers of texting and driving. The message is simple yet so important…when it comes to texting and driving, it can wait. You would think that getting your Ohio drivers license should be the time for youngsters to start being sensible, but that does not seem to be the case. Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of road fatalities in the U.S, responsible for as many as 20% of all crashes involving injury or death. And drivers that text while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a crash. According to the National Safety Council, more than 100,000 times each year, an automobile crashes and people are injured or die while a driver was texting and driving. And according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, teens on average, text five times more a day than a typical adult.
A recent AT&T survey found that 97% of teens say they know that texting is dangerous. The survey also found:
- 75 percent of teens surveyed say that texting while driving is “common” among their friends
- Almost all teens (89 percent) expect a reply to a text or email within five minutes or less
- And 77 percent of teens report seeing their parents text while driving.
Those are some scary stats. And although most states in the U.S. have banned texting and driving, it’s still incredibly hard to enforce. Fortunately, for all of us and especially for parents of teen drivers, technology can help. A wide variety of new smart phone apps are available which lock phones while the user is driving, disabling text, calls, email, surfing the web or update Facebook pages. Here are few I looked into:
AT&T DriveMode – app available currently to BlackBerry and Android users. Versions of it for AT&T phones with other operating systems are coming soon. This app automatically sends a customized reply to incoming texts, just like an “out-of-office” autoreply. It also disables all ingoing and outgoing calls and Web browsing. Users manually enable the app before driving, though, so participation is strictly voluntary. (free)
MobiLocPlus – app available for both the iPhone and Android smartphones. It disables the phone from receiving texts, emails, phone calls, and application activity such as Facebook notifications and tweets when the phone’s GPS senses that it is moving faster than 10mph. Once the phone has stopped moving, the phone returns to normal with all the missed texts, emails, calls, and application activity able to be viewed as normal. ($4.99 one-time charge)
Textecution – ?app available for Android smartphones. It cuts off texting ability if the device is moving faster than 10 MPH. If a passenger is using the device, he or she may request an override. That request must be allowed by a Textecution “administrator,” such as a parent (notified by text that the request is pending). If the user tries to remove Textecution, the administrator also gets a heads-up. ($29.99 one-time charge)
tXtBlocker – app ?compatible with Blackberry and Windows mobile handsets currently. Allows users to customize the locations and times of day-such as routine commuting or driving times-when texts and phone calls aren’t accepted.? ($6.99 monthly)
So go ahead and download one of these apps to your smartphone today or better yet, do what I’ve been doing lately. I put my phone in my purse and my purse in the backseat. You could even try the trunk. Because the bottomline is: no text is worth dying for.
Stay safe always.