It's a new year and everyone is trying to think of a habit they can kick or a new, healthier regimen they can follow. How's this for ya: Resolve to stop texting while driving! Braxton Automotive's employees are taking to the challenge, will you? Most of us have a teen driver, know a teen driver or have a child that will one day be a teen driver. As adults, we need to lead these teenagers by example. We need to put down our phones, converse with our children and stay focused on the road. Here are some eye-opening facts about teens and texting:
- While teenagers are texting, they spend about 10 percent of the time outside the driving lane they're supposed to be in.
- Roughly 35,000 American teens have died in automobile crashes in the past five years. That's 6,000 per year, 18 per day.
- Texting while driving increases your crash risk by 2,300 percent.
- It's 6x more dangerous than driving while intoxicated
Now that we know the seriousness about texting dangers, what can we do? I repeat, we can lead by example. It starts with us! Let's all promise to put down our phone while we are in the car. If necessary, turn it off or put it in the trunk when driving if you just HAVE to respond to that ring or beep. Show our children and teenagers how imperative it is to concentrate on the road and that any little message can wait until we are safely parked and out of the car. I mean, what did we do before we all got cellphones? We had to wait until we got home at the end of the day and listen to our answering machines.
We understand that this may be a big undertaking, but you're not in this alone. Along with everyone at Braxton Automotive, all government employees, BBB, Seventeen Magazine, Justin Bieber and many other influential celebrities, we are taking a stand against texting while driving. We encourage you to check out distraction.gov to get more information and even watch some videos on families who have unfortunately been affected by texting behind the wheel.
Of all cellphone related tasks - including talking, dialing and reaching for the phone - texting while driving is the most dangerous. This is because text messaging requires visual, manual and cognitive attention from the driver. Researchers suggest that by the time you have read or responded to a text, you have blindly traveled the length of a football field. Wouldn't be so alarming if you were actually on one, but you're not; you are behind a 4,000-7,000 lb. deadly weapon. Remember, it's your vehicle, your rules. We ask that you make a resolution this year to put down your phone and drive.