We all see it almost every time we go for a car ride. Texting while driving and other cell phone usage by drivers while behind the wheel.
In fact, texting while driving has now surpassed drinking and driving as the leading cause of death among teens, according to a recent study by Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park.
Furthermore, in New York State in 2011, 25,165 drivers of all ages were injured or killed in accidents involving distracted driving, compared to 4,628 injuries or deaths caused by alcohol-related driving. In 2015 drivers received 132,000 tickets for talking on a hand-held cellphone, down from nearly 250,000 tickets in 2011. Tickets for texting while driving have shot up from 9,000 in 2011 to nearly 85,000 in 2015.
Smart phone usage has increased exponentially in the past few years, especially among teens. Many can not go even the five minutes of a quick ride without checking their phones. But the consequences can be devastating. It is said that a minimum of 5 seconds is the minimal amount of time it takes to send a quick text. So much can happen on a road in 5 seconds—a child can dart across the street, a light can change, your car can veer while you are typing, a motorist can attempt to turn in front of you or maybe you have come to a stop sign you didn’t notice.
What You Can Do
- Never text while driving. Ever. Whether you are alone or with passengers, you not only put your lives at risk, but everyone else on the road.
- Tell your children under no circumstances is it okay to text and drive. Tell them in clear, simple language. According to Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, the easiest way to say it is: “On the road, off the phone.” Before new drivers get their licenses, discuss the fact that taking their eyes off the road – even for a few seconds – could cost someone injury or even death.
- Lead by Example. Be an example for your children and any other passengers in your car. If you need to text or talk on the phone, pull over to a safe place.
- Become Informed and Be Active. Set rules for yourself and your household regarding distracted driving. Tell family, friends and organizations to which you belong about the importance of driving without distractions. Take information to your children’s’ schools and ask that it be shared with students and parents.
- Minimize the urge. Whatever works for you--Turn your phone off, turn off your notifications, or let someone else text for you. There are also a number of apps that will prevent texting while driving
Were you injured in an accident due to texting while driving?
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