The smarter our cell phones get, the more distracting they become, especially when we are behind the wheel. Accidents caused by distracted driving have significantly increased over the past six years. According to the National Safety Council, driver cell phone use is responsible for 25% of all car crashes. Due to this drastic increase in risk to motorists, President Obama issued an executive order in 2009 banning texting while driving for all federal employees while on the job. His goal in issuing this order was to serve as an example to state leaders in the hopes that they would follow suit on a state level. Currently, 44 states ban text messaging for all drivers.
Unfortunately, state laws and federal examples can only go so far to combat the instinct to immediately answer a text. This is why, in order to protect yourself, your family, and your loved ones you must know the consequences of distracted driving and how to convey these dangers to your fellow motorists. It isn’t enough to assume that others will keep your family’s safety in mind when deciding whether to respond to a text. You must take action within your family and community if you want to help protect your loved ones.
Education is the key to prevention. When someone knows the facts about a certain issue, he is more likely to choose safety over risk. Unfortunately, government warnings haven’t been enough to adequately show the profound dangers of performing a “seemingly” harmless act such as typing a few letters into a phone. This is why it is important for you to take the next step toward a broader and more aggressive campaign for driving safety.
The Federal Communications Commission estimates that nearly 500,000 people a year are killed and injured as a result of texting and cell phone distractions each year. Help lessen your family’s risk of being included in that tally by committing yourself to the following safety awareness procedures:
- Educate. Make sure your family and friends are fully aware of their risks and encourage them to never use their devices while driving. Before new drivers get behind the wheel, discuss the fact that taking their eyes off the road (even for a few seconds) could cost someone injury or even death. If need be, show them stats and charts in order to make them fully conscious of their decisions.
- Become an example. People learn from the behavior of others. Be an example! If you need to text or talk on the phone, pull over to a safe place.
- Spread awareness. Set and enforce driving guidelines for yourself and family. Tell your family, friends, and coworkers about the importance of driving without distractions. If possible, become involved in safe driving groups or organizations within your community and help spread distracted-driving awareness. Remember, if you don’t take a stand to protect your family, who will?
Putting Your Popularity to Good Use
Popularity has a way of being simultaneously good and bad. If you’re so popular that you can’t go 15 minutes without receiving an urgent text or call, then driving safely could become a problem, and you could wind up putting yourself and others at risk. However, if you’re able to resist responding until you’re safely parked, you can use your popularity to help spread the word on safety, making the roads safer for everyone. By using your connections (at appropriate and safe times) via text, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc., you can help raise awareness about the dangers of texting while driving.
Post this article on your profile, tweet it to your followers, and share it with your friends and family. Although everyone should know that driving distractions are dangerous, hearing it from you may help them make the right decision the next time their phones begin to beep when they’re behind the wheel. Give them something to think about—Share now!