I saw a brilliant public service announcement on the telly last night. It was all about driving responsibly by executing texting abstinence. In other words, refraining from texting while driving. The PSA, Stop Texts Stop Wrecks ( stoptextsstopwrecks.org ) stated a few cold, hard facts about the results and statics of texting while driving. They compared other statics, such as robbery, lightning strikes and plane crashes. Apparently, one in 757 people are robbed, annually. While one in 750,000 people are struck by lightning, annually. And one in 29 million people are killed in a plane crash, annually. Still, more people are killed in car crashes, annually, and those chances increase 23 times when the driver is texting.
Some other facts about texting while driving on their website, which is a campaign by the Ad Council, the office of the State Attorney General and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), states that five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. And, when traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field (which is 300 yards). Reaching for a phone, dialing, texting and other uses of portable electronic devices (even GPS) increases the risk of getting in a crash by three times.
The website offers tips to avoid cell phone useage. Put the phone where you can’t see it while you’re driving. Turn off the ringer so you can’t hear it. If you can’t trust yourself to not reach for it, download an app that will not allow you to text while your car is in motion. Or have a passenger text for you. Haven’t you always want a personal assistant that you could dictate to, anyway? And, if anything is misspelled you can always blame it on them. Also, if someone doesn’t like what you’ve said, you can also blame it on them.
Personally, I don’t text and drive (not anymore, anyway). I’ve tried it a few times and I could totally take out a family. My daughter can text while she’s not even looking at the phone. Now, that takes coordination. She must get that from her dad’s side of the family, not mine. She and I will be having a serious conversation at the dinner table, she’s looking me right in the eyes as if she’s really listening, while she has her phone under the table, just texting her little heart out. She calls it “multi-tasking.” I call it “grounded.” I think it’s just rude, isn’t it?
So, practice texting abstinence. It may just save your life as well as those lives of others that are driving around you.
Until next week…
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Stop Texts Stop Wrecks – Comedy Defensive Driving