Distracted Driving And Technology
In our multitasking society, people have taken to doing all sorts of things while driving, and many lives have been ruined because of it. Nobody — NOBODY — who drives distracted thinks they will be the cause of someone else’s death or dismemberment. They wouldn’t do it if they thought they would harm a passenger in their car or someone on the road. That’s why this message cannot be repeated enough times: Stop creating circumstances known to cause accidents!
Sending or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for five seconds, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. Imagine repeating that action throughout a multi-text conversation. Some people even take photos with their phones while driving and then post them to social media — all done with the belief they will never cause a collision or death.
Keep in mind, however, that even swerving into another lane can lead to serious consequences for other drivers who might careen off the road into a tree or a pedestrian to avoid you. Driving distracted is irresponsible and potentially deadly. In most states, it is also a crime.
“People who read or write text messages while driving are 23% more likely to be involved in a car crash than other drivers,” according to Verizon Wireless. And teens are the most likely age group to be driving distracted when fatal crashes occur, according to the NHTSA.
The solution may be to exercise some preventive controls, such as text-blocking software. These apps are not only for parents wishing to minimize distracted teen driving; they are also effective for adults who lack discipline in the moment. Verizon suggests a handful of options. One works with a device inserted under the dashboard of a car that blocks sending and receiving texts, emailing or using the camera on a phone while driving. If it is deactivated or removed, an alert is sent to the authorized person. Others operate just on the phone and can be turned on when you drive and off when you arrive at your destination. Several apps turn text messages and emails into audio, which your phone reads to you so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road — great for business people who feel they can’t be disconnected while traveling.