Are you guilty of DWI: Driving while inTEXTicated?
| 2 min read
“Asking a teen to disengage from their cellphone is like asking them to disengage from life. But as the statistics gravely reveal, that’s exactly what happens 11 times every day in this country.”
We were shocked when we saw this quote in a recent MLive article that conveyed just how serious an issue texting while driving has become. Not only are there 11 deaths that occur every single day as a result of someone texting from behind the wheel, but each year it leads to more than 330,000 injuries and 1.6 million accidents.
If the safety issues aren’t enough to get you to stop, maybe financial ones will be. Under Michigan state law, those caught texting on the road are fined $100 for the first offense and $200 for a second offense.
These days, it’s the norm to feel strange when away from your phone for more than five minutes. But even though we live in a world where multitasking is second nature, it’s important to focus solely on driving. Recently, the Ad Council collaborated with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to create the Texting and Driving Prevention Campaign and provide consumers with resources that can help “stop the texts and stop the wrecks.” Here are a few great tips they have compiled for cell phone addicts to help them stay safe:
1. Put it away! Keep your phone somewhere you won’t see it, like in your bag or in the back seat. This will keep your mind off of wanting to respond to incoming messages.
2. Silence is safe. It’s hard to ignore your phone when you hear the “ding” sound of a text or call. By putting your phone on silent, you can avoid being tempted.
3. Designate a texter. Get one of your friends to read any new messages and respond if they are important.
4. Find an app. There are many apps to help you quit texting and driving. The AT&T Drivemode app is free and lets you set up auto-replies that are sent to incoming texts, e-mails and calls when you’re on the road.
Don’t be a statistic when it comes to texting while driving. Next time you want to reach for your phone when behind the wheel, remember this: Five seconds is the average time our eyes are off the road while texting. When driving at 55 miles per hour, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field, and to cause irreversible harm.
Photo credit: IntelFreePress