We’ve all been there, haven’t we? We’re driving down the road and our phone dings. You try to ignore it, but it dings again, and again….and….again. Now you’re getting concerned. Maybe it’s your spouse, your kids, or your work….and they NEED you right now. At least that’s how it feels. But do you look down? Do you risk it? Considering that 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving, you know it’s not worth the risk. But in an increasingly digital and “instant” age, what should you do to manage this issue?
If you’re still reading and you think, “Well surely a few seconds can’t hurt. And besides, I’m a good driver…”, then think again. If you’re driving at 55mph, you can travel the length of a football field in no more than five seconds. Imagine what can happen in that distance when your eyes aren’t on the road.
First things first, put your phone on silent and put it in a designated spot while you drive that you won’t reach for. It also helps to let people you may be communicating with over text know that you’re traveling and won’t be answering your texts for a bit. Another helpful tip is to flip the phone over so that you can’t see the alerts on the screen while you drive as well.
If you have someone else in the car with you that you trust, have them do the texting for you if you feel that a response may be needed for someone. Dictate what the person should type and keep that conversation short, as this can also be distracting.
You can also download apps that do the work for you if you don’t want to just ignore texts. For example, the app “Live2Txt” is simple. Turn the app on when you get behind the wheel, and you’ll silence your smartphone from incoming notifications, texts, and calls. When you receive a message, the app will alert the sender with a customized message that you’re unable to respond at the moment. Another app “DriveOff” automatically locks your phone when you’re driving at speeds faster than 10mph. This one is a great idea for teenagers. The messages just won’t show up.
Your safety and the safety of others on the road is more important in the moment than any message. Couple that with the fact that you’re 23 times more likely to be in a car accident when you’re texting and driving, and it’s a no-brainer. Choose to have the self-discipline to not answer. It really will save lives if we all decide to be safer in this way.
It’s that time of year, and we’re thankful for you!
Happy Thanksgiving to all our valued customers. We could not exist without you, and we are honored to be able to serve you and this community daily.
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