Texting and Driving: Mobile Apps to Inhibit the Dangerous Habit
Texting and driving has become one of the leading dangers for both beginning and experienced drivers. The message recipient can put themselves and others in danger when they read and reply to a text message while behind the wheel. A slight distraction can lure eyes away from the road and result in a serious accident. In an infographic published by Mashable in June of 2012, a text was defined as a five seconds or greater distraction. Combine this distraction with a vehicle traveling at 55 miles per hour and the result is an entire football field of blind driving. In this amount of space, another car or even pedestrian could easily come into the driving path of the text recipient and put both parties in grave danger.
Phone carriers and have taken notice of the inherent dangers caused by texting and driving and have put forward some fissures to inhibit drivers from texting. Applications have been made for Android, iPhone and even BlackBerry 10operating systems that prevent drivers from accessing text messages while operating a vehicle. The Los Angeles Times published an article that lays out all the available applications depending on the operating system that your mobile device is compatible with. Take a look and see which applications have the best reviews for your family members’ devices. Along with app store ratings, the article can help eliminate the dangers of texting and driving.
Texting and driving is even more deadly among inexperienced drivers like teenagers and results in thousands of accidents on a yearly basis. In a study published by Forbes, the daily death toll was put at 11 teenagers due to driving and texting related crashes. The article also claims that texting while driving is six times more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol. These staggering numbers are best put into perspective under the grand statistic, which claims that texting and driving accounts for a quarter of the total automotive accidents in a given year. With drinking and driving heavily penalized by the law in all states, it is quite surprising to find that texting while driving is not punishable by law in all states. Currently only 39 of the 50 states, plus Washington D.C. outlaw handheld device use while driving. The punishment in most of these states is merely a fine and a ticket. This pales in comparison to drinking over the legal limit penalties, which can result in a towed and impounded car, thousands of dollars in fines and even jail time.
Public service announcements have been produced to stress the dangers of texting and driving and to keep high school students from practicing the deadly phone check. All parents should stress the commitment to ignoring cell phones altogether while operating a vehicle to help keep their children safe on the road. Parents need to lead by example and never text and drive while behind the wheel. Always use Bluetooth or other wireless connectivity when answering calls, but under no circumstance make an excuse to read or reply to a text message.