It’s no lie that yes, there are a lot of dumb driving laws out there. From being a show-off to leaving a door open too long, the rules of the road can get be pretty amusing sometimes. And whether you are a seasoned truck driver or a teen just learning the ropes, one law that is not amusing is the one about texting while driving. Now it’s crazy to think that some people in this world have a tough time understanding that yes, this is a bad thing to do. And while it can be a tough habit to break, knowing when to put the phone down behind the wheel can save yours, or another person’s life. Below, we explain why it’s so important to stop texting while driving.
Recently, a truck driver in South Dakota witnessed a horrific accident (his video contains explicit language) caused by a young teen texting while driving. The driver perfectly nails the reason no one should ever be checking their phones behind the wheel. Three people were injured in the accident including two broken legs and a flipped big rig due to the girl’s mistake. When it comes to the safety of yourself and those around you, it’s best to know when to put your phone on “do not disturb.”
Stop Texting While Driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 8 people die every day and over a thousand are injured from distracted driving. With this statistic, it’s tough to understand why so many people, especially teens, still decide to answer their phone when the dangers of such activity are known. So why do they do it?
Why We Do It
In a recent study by Steven Seiler described in Medical Daily’s article, it was found that although the fatal outcomes of texting while driving are clearly defined to the public, people still engage. Seiler sought to find out why and realized a similar trend with other epidemics in the nation. There are over 300,000 deaths every year from obesity and tobacco use and people still eat fattening food and smoke. But why?
Sieler believes it is from a lack of consequences to those around us who partake in the same activities. Passengers in a car may see their friends or family members texting as they drive and not get in trouble. This creates a false sense of confidence in the own ability to do the same, and in their ability not to get caught or fail.
Another reason behind the texting while driving phenomena could be due to the culture of social media. Smartphone technology today is a lot different than generations past. We are constantly connected to each other everywhere we go at all times. Instead of just your average phone call, phones are now mini-computers. We can check Facebook, Instagram, post and take photos, get directions, order food and send emails all at the touch of a button.
As discussed in Seiler’s study, how you use your phone daily can decide if you’re more likely to text while driving. If you are someone who uses their phone during a movie, texts during other inappropriate situations, or reaches for it when you’re bored, you may be more likely to commit this crime.
Breaking the Habit
Other than the obvious (just put your phone away) ways of not texting while you drive, for some it can be a little more difficult to break the habit. This activity is a learned habit. And breaking bad habits can take some time, but this habit is a goal all drivers (truckers, teens, elderly, etc.) should reach for.
There are methods to keep you from reaching for your iPhone, Android, or any other device keeping you from looking at the road.
Anti-Distraction Tools– Some companies offer a piece of software that can be placed inside the vehicle blocking the ability to answer the phone or send texts. Companies like CellControl provide a device you stick to the windshield or area in your car and connect to an app on your phone. Other companies use software that block phone use the second you enter the car.
Phone Apps– There are apps that you can enable when you sit behind the wheel to block text and incoming calls from reaching your phone. Some of these apps even send a message to the person contacting you telling them you are driving and will get back to the soon.
Legislature– Another way to break the habit of texting while driving could be to reach out to your local government to get safer roads. While most states have laws against using a cell phone in your car, not all texting are all forms cell phone use; this can include just reading texts and not sending them.
Whatever method you use to stop texting, find it as soon as you can. No phone call or text message is worth not showing up to your destination or harming someone else.