A recent article in USA Today described the growing problem with texting and driving, especially among young drivers. It delved into the fact that many car crashes with serious injuries envolved a distracted driver. There was one statement in the article which crystallized this safety issue - no text is worth dying for.
It's a simple statement which clarifies the unnecessary safety risk far too many drivers take on a daily basis. This statement was recently used in a focus group and the group leader asked the participants to take out their cell phones in order to check their most recent text. The leader asked, "Is this text really worth dying for?" and the air came out of the room. It was described as an "a-ha" moment for the people in the group.
For additional information about texting and driving, check out these articles:
I hope you take heed of that simple statement and absorb the fact that no text, no matter what's contained in the message, is worth losing your life, or suffering a serious injury like a broken neck, spinal cord injury, or traumatic brain injury.
23 states have adopted texting while driving restrictions and there's been talk of federal laws which would incentivize states to pass texting restrictions or lose a portion of their state highway funds. I want to give the 23 states which have already passed laws credit. They've taken the first step to combat this issue. Some states, like North Carolina (NC), are being even more proactive by promoting "Dnt Txt & Drv" programs which focus on this issue in driver's education courses for aspiring car owners and operators.
Our firm has been greatly concerned about this issue for a while now and even wrote a special, in-depth consumer report about the dangers associated with distracted driving (take advantage of the free download here). We've been so concerned because we understand that this problem may potentially get worse as time goes on. We have a generation of new drivers who text like it's second nature and many believe they have the "secret technique" which makes them immune to injury while texting and driving. Unfortunately, there is no "secret technique" and no "right way" to text while behind the wheel of a car/truck/SUV. Distracted driving is distracted driving, no matter how you do it and it' just as dangerous as drinking and driving.
We need more laws restricting texting along with more educational and awareness programs that are focused on teaching today's youth (and tomorrow's commuters) about the dangers of texting and driving. We have to make a very clear declaration - no text is worth dying for.