Even though it is now illegal to use hand-held mobile devices while driving in the state of Illinois, and despite the obvious dangers and staggering statistics associated with accidents caused by texting and driving, many individuals still choose to participate in the activity. Perhaps this is because the inclination to multitask is too strong, or the need for instant communication is too great. Or maybe it is because in spite of all the information to the contrary, drivers believe that they are somehow immune from being in a car accident caused by their distracted driving. A recent article discussed an initiative to stop texting and driving and offers suggestions on how to curb the impulse to do so.
Stop Texts, Stop Wrecks
It is no secret that the use of mobile devices while driving is dangerous, as is evidenced by the accidents caused by distracted driving, which result in injuries and even fatalities. The incidence of distracted driving seems to be rising with the popularity of cell phones and other devices. In fact, some research shows that texting while driving causes a risk of crashing that is 23 times greater than driving while not distracted.
In an effort to curb the dangerous behavior, various organizations collaborated to create a campaign aimed at preventing texting and driving called "Stop Texts. Stop Wrecks." It targets young adult drivers specifically and attempts to demonstrate the serious consequences of such needless behavior. As part of their message, the campaign offers the following tips to avoid the temptation to text and drive:
Out of sight, out of mind. When entering your car, place your phone in a spot where you cannot see it. If you place it somewhere where you will not be tempted to pick it up, you will not be tempted to text.
Silence is golden. Turn your notifications, and even your ringer, off while driving. If you cannot hear your phone alerting you to communications that are coming in, you will not be inclined to respond while driving.
Designate a texter. Ask a friend to text for you if you are the driver, or text for your friend if you are their passenger. Passengers can obviously more safely text while the car is being operated.
Give clear instructions. Tell any teen drivers simply and clearly not to use their cell phones or any other wireless device while driving a car. The discussion can begin before teens even obtain their driver's license by talking about the fact that taking your eyes off the road for even a second or two can cause serious consequences, such as significant injuries or death.
Lead by example. Parents should not text and drive in front of their children since children learn best from their parents' behavior. If parents must use the phone while traveling, they should pull over and do so from a safe place.
Become informed and be active. Set household rules regarding distracted driving that every family member must follow. Be proactive in spreading the word about dangers associated with texting and driving through your community and among family, friends, and other parents.
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