Text Me Later: Don't Do Distracted Driving!

Teens and adult drivers alike are often plagued by the same temptation: checking your phone on the road. It seems harmless to peek down and check your text messages, or to type out a quick “OMW!” to your parents or your friends, but often times, it isn’t.

Texting and Driving: It can wait.

Image: Flickr

Did you know:

5 seconds is the average time you spend looking away from the road when you’re texting. That may not seem like much, but if you’re traveling at 55mph, 5 seconds is the amount of time it takes to drive the length of a football field.

10% of teen drivers involved in accidents resulting in death were reported to be “distracted”  at the time of the incident. Distracted can mean on the phone, texting, eating, grooming, or fussing with the radio/navigation system. Teens drivers have the highest rate of “distracted driving.”

Approximately 660,000 drivers are using electronic devices such as cell phones or navigation systems while driving at any given moment.

If you put all these numbers together, the road starts to look like a scary place. MILES are being traveled by drivers who just aren’t looking at the road, putting everyone around them at risk of injury or death.

What you can do:

Put the device away. It’s tempting to quickly grab your phone and take a peek when you see it light up with a new alert. Put your phone out of sight and on silent when you drive. What you don’t know can’t tempt you! The glove box or center console is a great place to keep a phone nearby in case of a real emergency, while keeping it out of your line of sight to distract you.

Don’t ride with distracted drivers. Everyone has that friend (or parent!) who just can’t seem to rip themselves away from the phone on the road. It may seem like a hassle, but don’t ride with someone who is texting or tweeting while driving. Every moment they aren’t looking at the road is a moment they are putting your life at risk!

It Can Wait. You can take the pledge against texting and driving at ItCanWait.com. Teens and adults alike can text or tweet #X before they drive so others know you won't be able to respond while they're behind the wheel.

Remember, there’s nothing so important that it can’t wait for you to find a safe place to pull over. Even emergency calls from parents can wait a few minutes while you put the car in park in a safe location. Don't let distracted driving total your first car--or worse! It can wait!

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Car Tips