Parents: Texting & Teens Behind The Wheel

I was coming home from the doctor the other day. My husband was driving, and we were in his big Ford pickup. We were on the Beltway, overtaking a Nissan in the lane parallel to us. That car suddenly surged over toward us.Fortunately, my husband was able to move over to avoid a collision.

I looked down at the driver -- a teenage girl who was texting. At 65 miles per hour! Had she hit us, not much would have happened to us, but I fear at the very least, her little car would have been totaled. I shudder to think about what would have happened to her in such a small car.

Stats

In 2010, statistics released by the U.S. DOT showed 3,092 people were killed and an estimated 416,000 injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a distracted driver -- that means a driver texting or talking on the cell phone.

Sending or receiving a text takes the driver's eyes off the road for about 4.6 seconds. That time is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field at 55 mph while blindfolded.

About 20% of drivers text while behind the wheel. Of the age group 18-24, that percentage increases to 66%!

I think the time has come to do something about this. Campaign for your state to ban texting while driving. I'd like to see an end to cell phone use while driving too. It's just got out of control.

Parents, An App To Help

If you're a parent with a teen driver, first set a good example by never texting and driving.

Second, sign up for a monthly service that disables texting and other functions when the user is driving. tXtBlocker is a highly customizable service that will do this, only permitting incoming and outgoing calls to present "safe lists" and emergency numbers.

There are probably other such services, but I just read about this one so it's fresh in my mind.

Price is based on a monthly subscription starting at $7.00/month. There's a family plan that covers everyone for $10.00. Plug the search string "text blocker" into your favorite search engines or inquire with your cell phone service provider.

Takeaway Truth

Don't wait for something tragic to happen. Do something now to remove the temptation of texting and phoning while driving.

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