Do You Ever Text and Drive?

Texting while driving makes you 6 times more likely to have auto accident than a DUI

Well wait until you hear this; the average time it takes to respond to a text message is 5 seconds; if you’re traveling at 55MPH that equates to the length of a football field.

Texting & driving continues to be an ongoing problem not only here in the United States but across the world. There are approximately 2.5 Million automobile related accidents every year in the United States alone. Studies show that 1.6 Million of these automobile accidents are related to use of cell phones while driving which accounts for 64% of auto accidents here in the US.

At this time no states ban all use of cell phones, but 46 States plus DC Puerto Rico, Guam & the US Virgin Islands have implemented bans on Text & Driving. There are also many groups out there that are working to end texing and driving including: The Distracted Driving Foundation, Stop Texts Stop Wrecks and Teens against distracted driving.

Here are some helpful tips provided by these organizations:

  • Designate a Texter-Have someone text for you or offer to text for them while their driving.
  • Turn your cell phone on silent so you’re not prompted to respond when you receive messages & notifications or better yet, turn your cell phone off.
  • Put your cell phone out of reach.

As technology advances and the popularity of the Smart phone increases so do auto accidents related to cell phone use. So why not download an app that will prevent you from texting while driving:

Here are some of my favorite FREE Apps:

  • AT&T DriveMode aka It Can Wait-Turns on automatically at 15PHM, Silences incoming calls & sends out auto-replies and has parental alerts. You don’t have to be an AT&T customer to use it.
  • Safely Go-Allows calls & text only from your 3 VIP contacts and sends an automatic reply to everyone else that you’re on the road and driving safely. Enables calls through your Bluetooth or other hands-free device. Gives you access only to your top 3 “Driving Apps” (like maps, navigation, or music)
  • Sprint Drive First-Similar to Safely Go but also has parental controls so you can keep your teen drivers safe.
  • ly-Enhances hands free safety features by announcing your incoming calls. The app is fully customizable so you and adjust features for optimum safety and convenience.

*Please note that data and message fees may apply.

Teens aren’t the only ones guilty of this distractive behavior however the statistics for teens tend to be much higher. It is important as adults that we always try to set a good example. Make sure your teens understand that it’s not only unsafe to text and drive but remind them that it’s illegal including texting while at a stop light. Share with them the Safety tips listed above and make sure they have a helpful app on their phone. We set rules and guidelines for our kids in other aspects of their life and texting and driving should rank near the top of that list.

Christina Takarewicz, – Personal Insurance Advisor