When you text and drive, you are 23 times more likely to experience an accident than when occupied by any other activity, according to the FCC. It is human nature to respond to visual and audio cues that imply we are needed, but taking our eyes off the road for even a moment is enough to cause a fatal accident.
The attorneys at Hupy and Abraham work hard to spread the DNT TXT N DRV message throughout the community to inform and educate drivers of the dangers that texting while driving poses to everyone on the road. The loss of life associated with distracted driving is unprecedented because it is so avoidable. The following tips should serve as a reminder, for new and old drivers alike, not to drive while texting.
Concentrate on the road. Texts may seem faster and more efficient than a phone call, but the five seconds it takes to read a text message are enough to travel the entire length of a football field without looking up. Those moments are when lives are lost. While 55 percent of teens say it’s “easy” to text and drive, studies show that teens who text while driving spend 10 percent of their driving time outside of their lane.
Take 21 days to a form a good habit. While 43 states have adopted restrictions regarding distracted driving, sometimes a law isn’t enough to get people to change their behavior. Commit yourself to 21 days where you make a true effort to stop texting while driving. For many people that will mean leaving their phone in the glove box, shutting off the ringer or turning the phone off altogether. By then end of those days, you will be more likely to have formed a lasting habit that overrides your desire to answer a text.
Give new drivers clear instructions of your expectations. As stated before, good habits only take a few weeks to form. Teach new drivers that on the road means off the phone. Young drivers must understand that driving is a privilege, not a right, and that their actions behind the wheel affect more people than just themselves. Hands-free devices are generally too distracting for inexperienced drivers, and shouldn’t be encouraged as an alternative. So, explain that phones should only be touched by the driver when the vehicle is legally parked.
Lead by example. Children, more than we realize, observe the actions of the adults in their lives and will learn from their behavior. About 48 percent of kids reported riding in a vehicle where the parent/driver was texting while driving, so it’s not hard to imagine where teens are picking it up from. Set the appropriate example for your children by pulling over to the side of the road if you need to use your phone, or let them do the texting for you. They will be occupied, and you will succeed in teaching them that good drivers never text and drive.
No text message is worth a life. The personal injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham hope that you will keep these tips in mind the next time you get behind the wheel, or hand the keys over to your teenage driver. We also hope that you never need to call us, but in the unfortunate incident that you or a loved one are injured by a distracted driver, please contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678. You will receive a free consultation and the opportunity to receive the compensation you are entitled to.