Share these texting while driving facts with your teen to help keep them—and others—safe when they get behind the wheel.
Parents have a mix of fear and excitement when their teens get driver's licenses. It's understandable. As we watch our kids grow into independent people, those big life steps come with big changes for us, too. We try to steer our children toward a positive path in life, and sometimes that means scaring the daylights out of them. These texting while driving facts should scare them—and you—into making the right choices on the road.
Texting while driving: facts that you need to know
New drivers have a big learning curve, and adding distractions to the mix doesn't help; however, distracted driving results in over 3,100 deaths each year and more than 430,000 injuries. So to be clear, it isn't just teens that could benefit from some texting while driving facts.
1. Texting while driving is deadly
Texting and driving is the cause of 11 teen deaths every day. Just one example is from Friday, October 21, 2016, in St. Croix County, Wisconsin. A texting driver forced 16-year-old Kyra Hayes off the road. Kyra's car rolled several times, ejecting her from the car and killing her.
2. Texting while driving is worse than driving intoxicated
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, texting and driving is equivalent to driving after drinking four beers and increases your risk of causing an accident by six times over driving intoxicated.
3. Texting while driving is a learned behavior
A recent CNN report notes that 48% of teen drivers have been in the car with a parent who is using a cell phone, and "15% of young drivers have seen their parents text while driving."
4. Texting while driving is illegal
46 states, as well as Washington, D.C., have an explicit ban on texting behind the wheel. While the fine varies, many states are pushing for a $500 fine for first-time offenders.
5. Texting while driving can wait
Parents, this means you. Don't text your kids at times you know they are driving. Your "quick" text could get them into trouble fast. How?
On average, it only takes three seconds for a distracted driver to cause an accident. For some perspective, that's about how long it took you to read the first sentence of this paragraph. Incidentally, that's also about the same amount of time it takes your teen to read your text asking if they are going to be home for dinner.
Texting while driving: facts are good, apps are better
There's only so much you can do about your teen texting while driving. Facts may give them knowledge, but the temptation to glance at a text can be great. Apps like Snapchat and features like Facebook Live add to the danger of cell phone use behind the wheel. But there are apps that take that temptation away from your teen—or adults.
1. Text blocker
Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon all have free apps that prevent texts or calls from coming in when the phone is moving above certain speeds.
2. Cell Control
Cell Control is both a device (DriveID) and an app. Install the DriveID component in your vehicle, download the app on your phone (or your teen's phone), and the phone will stay on the home screen as long as the vehicle is in motion.
3. Drive Alert Now
Drive Alert Now is also both a device and an app. The device plugs into the diagnostic port on your vehicle and communicates with the phone app to disable texting, as well as apps like Twitter and Snapchat.
4. Life Saver
Life Saver is a free app that uses GPS technology to lock your phone while a car is in motion. Additionally, the app allows a parent or loved one to monitor the driver's activity as an extra incentive to stay off the phone.
5. True Motion
True Motion is another free app that aims to improve drivers' habits, although in a different way than some other apps. True Motion doesn't block texting or usage of your phone. It does give you a score on each drive based on speed and phone use of any kind. The family app also shares your driving score and location with other family members with the hopes that competition and oversight will improve driving habits.
Apps or not, even the best drivers make mistakes from time to time. That's why quality car insurance is vital. Contact your local Pekin Insurance agent for a free quote on car insurance.
What are your thoughts on texting and driving? Would you use one of these apps to limit distracted driving for yourself or your teen? Share your ideas in the comments.