For many years, drinking and driving has received the majority of attention when it comes to traffic accidents and fatalities, but another deadly combination that has become the norm for many can be just as fatal. Texting and driving has become a habit, and it’s not just teenagers! Many adults text while driving, answer emails and turn their vehicles into a mobile office…and most of us have surely driven by a swerving car only to see a parent texting with a young child in the back seat!!
A study by AAA and Seventeen Magazine found that 61% of teens admit to risky driving habits, and 46% of those kids say they text and drive. That’s an alarming number of kids who admit to texting behind the wheel! In another study released by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, researchers found that “texting took a driver’s focus away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds; enough time to travel the length of at football field at 55 mph.” In that length of time you could swerve off the road, hit another car or cause serious injury to yourself or others.
Currently, there are cell phone applications being developed to help parents control the availability of text functions on their children’s phones. “Textecution”, an app only currently available for android phones, uses GPS to determine how fast a cell phone is “moving.” If it is traveling at a speed greater than 10 mph the texting function is disabled along with internet browsing. There are still some flaws in the design-the system can’t distinguish if you are simply a passenger in a vehicle and in those cases also will not allow you to text. However, in cases like that, access can be requested via a quick message to the parent asking for access. Parents have control of the system from their own mobile device. (www.textecution.com)
But, kids will learn from example, and if you don’t put down the cell phone while driving, neither will they. And if you continue to respond to friends and business associates asking how long until you arrive at a meeting, they will continue to try and reach you when you are trying to safely arrive at your destination. Set a good example for those around you and pledge to no longer text and drive-when you have the urge to text, tweet, email or type in anyway while driving just ignore the urge or pull over. For your safety and the safety of everyone around you, texting and driving just isn’t worth the risk.
Jay GMC Buick is committed to helping keep our community’s teens and families safe. Please take a moment and share with your friends and loved ones the dangers of using a cell phone while driving. You could save the live of someone you love.