When was the last time you texted and drove?

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Submitted by Joselyn A Castaneda
on 11/17/2018

According to Edgar Snyder & Associates, a Personal Injury Law Firm located through Western Pennsylvania, “at any given time throughout the day, six-hundred sixty thousand drivers are attempting to use their phones while behind the wheel…”.

This a startling statistic, but it is enough to encourage change in behaviors for both adults and teenagers alike? Common distractions from social media, texting, or other notifications have a presence, yet to give them attention while driving puts both other drivers and yourself in danger. To combat dangerous driving habits amongst teenagers, one must acknowledge the importance of remaining connected, but implement technology that blocks notifications while driving, make promises to oneself to not use the phone, and put the phone out of reach.

Based on a study in 2018, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state “there are nine deaths and 1,000 accidents per day related to distracted driving”. Apple iPhone has taken responsibility in preventing distracted driving by employing the Do Not Disturb While Driving App which allows for all notifications to be silenced during the drive. Having been one to use this app, one can find that it significantly reduces the amount of phone usage if at all while driving. Furthermore, according to EverQuote, “between Sept. 19, 2017, and Oct. 25, 2017, approximately 80% of EverDrive users with iPhones adopted the Do Not Disturb driving feature”.

There is an acknowledgment of dangerous driving behaviors by the users and action taken on account of aiding technology. Without Apple taking the initiative, many phone users would still be committed to their phone instead of the road. Other phone companies, including Samsung, have employed the same app where distractions are limited. Together major corporations can influence and change behaviors through effective marketing and concern for their consumer’s safety, especially teenagers that rely on being connected.

In addition, making one’s self accountable by limiting phone usage on the road is necessary for change to occur. From setting how much time can be spent in total while on an extended trip or an everyday commitment to not using the phone while driving, the concentration is shifted. This seems to be very simple, but it could be hard for a teen or fellow connected/busy person to not be in the know at all times. One must not fail to acknowledge our dependency on technology and the benefits it has afforded us. However these tactics may seem, it definitely helps those who are more impulsive or highly dependent break away and find balance.

Falling in line with limiting phone usage is making the phone out of reach or hidden from view. So one might put the phone in their purse, back-pocket, trunk, or back seat in order to guarantee that they would not be able to access it. This makes one completely unaware of any notifications or messages, as well as affords for more focus on the road. One can decide how much they want to implement this technique, but it is completely up to the person at hand.

Keep in mind throughout all these techniques, one has the possibility of missing out on messages relating to emergencies or issues that concern them. This notion should be accepted or monitored.

In conclusion, teenagers and adults both should employ techniques varying from technologies that block notifications, limit usage, or removing the phone reach or sight. To implement this is to be a responsible driver and
concerned for one’s safety as well as others.

Change may be slow, but progress is being made in the fight against distracted driving. When was the last time you texted and drove?

Submitted by Joselyn A Castaneda
on 11/17/2018

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