Distracted driving is one of the deadliest things someone can do. The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year and nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
Ankin Law is offering a scholarship to students who can form a Distracted Driving Family Plant to motivate and educate your family on the dangers of distracted driving.
After researching this cool scholarship, I observed my family’s driving for three days and formed a plan that is vital to our safety and others on the road.
First, STOP texting and driving. My mom is pretty good with it since she has hands free but my dad is constantly texting at red lights. According to Ankin Law, “A collision can occur in the split second it takes to look away from the road, take the hand off the wheel, and quickly read a text or make a call. Findings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that in 2008, more than 500,000 people were injured and 6,000 died in car accidents involving a distracted driver, and that an estimated 800,000 cars are driven by someone using a hand held cell phone at any given time of the day.”
My plan to prevent my dad from ever having his phone in his hand is to leave it in the backseat, with the ringer turned off, during drives. That way it’s out of sight, out of mind. Alternatively, if he had to know what was going on, he could have the passenger driver, if there is one, hold his phone during the drive.
Something that both of my parents do is work related phone calls during their drives. Even though they aren’t holding their phone (speaker) they are still distracted. Work related phone calls can cause high levels of stress and some people might need to refer to notes or emails during their call causing them to be more distracted.
“According to a recent Travelers Insurance survey, 75 percent of employees use their personal vehicles for work on a daily basis and many stated they commonly use their cell phones for work-related purposes while driving. The survey showed:
38 percent of drivers answer or make phone calls for work while driving
17 percent of drivers send and/or read text messages while driving
10 percent of drivers send, receive and read emails while driving
38 percent of employees feel they should always be reachable by phone
27 percent of employees say the boss calls or texts knowing they are driving
17 percent of employees fear job consequences if they don’t answer.”
My mom has already started making strides to cut off work when she leaves the office. However, her coworkers still call from time to time to ask questions but she tries to keep it short and stress free.
In addition to making strides in our personal driving habits, there are also steps being taken. According to Ankin Law, New York lawmakers have proposed to give police officers a new device called a Textalyzer to help reduce the high number of distracted driving accidents that result in serious injuries and fatalities. The Textalyzer is a digital device that’s equivalent to the Breathalyzer, a device used to check a driver’s blood alcohol level during a sobriety test. The Textalyzer would allow police officers to check a driver’s cell phone usage if the driver is involved in a car accident.
The Textalyzer would motivate people to not use their phone while driving. If being a safe driver isn’t motivating enough, now, they will face a ticket for not following the rules. The Textalyzer would be very beneficial and help reduce the amounts of distracted driving fatalities.
I can’t wait to help my family become safer, educated drivers through my plan to stop texting and driving and avoid business calls during commutes.