Is texting while driving a 21st century epidemic?
Driving is a highly engaging activity: it demands all your senses to be alert, including visual and motor skills. With smartphone usage growing every day, it is no wonder almost everyone’s become a little bit obsessed with these devices, no matter the age. Not so surprisingly, though, texting demands the same set of skills as driving.
But what happens when these two activities are combined?
According to Tamyra Price, associate professor in the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at California State University Fresno, a serious challenge. According to Nationwide Insurance data, from January to July 2009, “there were 740 billion text messages sent – double the amount of that in 2008” (source: The Statesman). Seven years later, these numbers are even higher, with texting apps and instant messaging programs being on the rise.
Is there a reason to be alarmed? Definitely.
Distracted driving needs to stop
Even though the development of technology and the constant improvement of road safety regulations have made a positive impact on preventing traffic incidents, there are still certain fallbacks that seem to mar all efforts on the system side. This part is on the human side and it is determined by one’s behavior.
“Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving. Distracted driving can increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash.” (Source: CDC)
Distraction can be: visual, manual and cognitive, and texting demands all three! According to CDC data, each day in the US over 8 people are killed and 1.161 injured in crashes related to distracted driving (2013 Distracted Driving research report).
Today, as we are entering 2017, we here at AdvantageTec would like to remind you of an important thing: do not text and drive. Distracted driving does not only lead to accidents, but it can also ruin lives. Do not take that risk to see what happens. Let’s make the roads safer in 2017 and stop texting while driving.
How to prevent texting while driving
- Turn your phone off or on Airplane mode. This is list likely for drivers to do but it is definitely the safest way of stopping the urge to check your text message inbox, emails, and take calls unless necessary and you have your phone connected with your vehicle speaker system or some kind of Bluetooth.
- Put the phone away from you. Out of sight, out of mind cannot hold truer in this sense. If you put the phone away (e.g. into your bag or jacket), you will be at lesser risk of grasping it.
- Designated texter. Lauren Guthmann from Go.Drive Magazine suggests designating your passenger to read and reply to urgent messages instead of you, so you can focus on the road rather than the screen.
- Use apps. Even though these three options are a great way to dodge the bullet, you can also use apps that can block receiving messages on your phone while driving. Verizon suggests the following: Cellcontrol, Drive Safe Mode, and Live2Text.
Even though these are all external possibilities that may help you, the problem still remains if you cannot restrain yourself from sending text messages or taking calls while driving.
Please think twice before you reach for that phone. Give safe driving a chance and have your life and the others’ lives last longer and happier!