Americans send over 150 billion texts each month, according to
distraction.gov, a government website established to help eliminate distracted driving.
Although the popularity of talk-free messaging isn’t that surprising,
the inherent danger of this form of communication for drivers is taking
its toll. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that as the popularity
of text messaging increases, the number of drivers texting increases,
which ultimately increases the rate of distraction-based car collisions.
In fact, over the past three years, nearly 1.5 million people have been
car accidents where cell phone use and texting were determined to be the direct cause
of the crash.
So, now that you know the risk, ask yourself what you do when you hear
your phone go off while you’re behind the wheel. Do you ignore it
or do you take your eyes off the road and your hand off the wheel in order
to respond? Are you mindful of the safety of surrounding motorists? How
about your own?
If you do have a compulsion to answer texts, calls, and messages no matter
where you are (or how safe it is to do so), perhaps you should be aware
of certain tools that can help you “cut the cord” and keep
you, your family, and your neighbors safe from a distraction accident.
Safer Communication Driving Tools to Replace Dangerous Texting
When driving, the safest thing to do with your phone, tablet, or any other
distracting electronic device is to keep it out of sight and out of reach.
However, in today’s society many people believe that their phones
are their lifelines; if their phone isn’t in their hand, then it
better not be more than an arm’s reach away. Although this may be
practical when at work, home, or a party, that kind of attention can’t
be spent while driving a car.
Fortunately, for those drivers who feel it’s absolutely necessary
to be in contact with the world 24/7, there are safer methods of communicating
without the need to remove your hands from the wheel or your eyes from
the road. These alternative methods include:
- Hands-free. Bluetooth can be set up in your car to allow you to make calls and talk
without needing to use your hands.
- Voice-to-text apps. VTT apps allow you to speak a message and send it via text messaging without
the need to type.
- Automatic messaging/responders. These particular apps respond with an automated message whenever you can’t
make it to the phone. You can turn the app on before you get behind the
wheel, and if you receive any texts, it will respond to the sender with
whatever you program it to say (for instance, “I can’t respond
right now; I’m driving. I’ll get back to you as soon as I get
out of the car.”).
- Silent mode. If you can’t ignore the sound of a text coming in, put your phone
on silent or completely turn it off so you’re not tempted.
- Cinema mode. Some cinema mode apps will not only automatically put your phone to silent,
but will also dim your screen so you won’t know you’ve received
a message until you’re ready to safely check your phone.
When Distraction Leads to Disaster
Although the above tools can help lessen your own distractions, you can
never predict when distraction may cause another driver to hit you. Help
us spread the word about texting alternatives to make sure your family
and friends are protected. Share this page on Facebook or tell them to
contact us directly to discuss any potential questions or concerns they
may have about a recent accident.
A Virginia Car Accident Attorney Can Help
Do you personally need more information on distracted driving accidents
Contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll be happy to answer all your concerns and give you the support
you need. Let us be a helping hand—contact us today to see how we
can help you get the justice, protection, and security you and your family deserve.