Most Americans know texting and driving is dangerous but it continues to be a problem, especially for young drivers. While 97% of teens agree that texting and driving is dangerous, 43% admitted to doing it anyway.
The survey of teen drivers also found 75% of teens say texting while driving is common among their friends and the majority of respondents said they have texted when stopped at a red light and often glance at their phones while driving. While teens might be the worst offenders, plenty of adults are guilty too. As the evidence continues to mount concerning the dangers of texting while driving, 39 states have made it illegal. Here are good reasons to quit once and for all:
- Texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be in an accident. It’s considered distracted driving. Distracted driving is a factor in 15 to 25% of all crashes.
- Each day, more than 15 people are killed in crashes that result from distracted driving.
- Using a cell phone while driving, whether it’s handheld or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08%.
These are statistics, but to Alexander Heit’s family it’s personal. In early April, Alexander’s final text cut off in mid-sentence. Before he could send it, the 22-year-old University of Northern Colorado student drifted into oncoming traffic, jerked the steering wheel and went off the road, rolling his car. He died.
Sending a text while driving can kill you. It’s that simple and tragic. When you’re in the car, turn off text notifications. The less you hear your phone, the less tempted you’ll be to respond while you’re driving.
If you have a passenger in the car, ask him/her to read or send your texts for you. Passengers can text while in motion.
Another great way to ensure that you won’t text while driving is to take the battery out of your phone. Of course, you could reach for it and put it back in while you’re driving, which would distract you even more, so put it in your trunk. That way you can’t put it back in.
While messages from your friends and family are important, nothing should take precedence over safely getting yourself and your passengers to your destination.
Like driving drunk, when you text and drive you’re not only putting your own life in danger, you’re endangering everyone on the road around you. Stop doing it today!