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Distracted Driving
Jenny Holt, Freelance Writer
Don’t Text and Drive
In America, 94% of citizens support a total ban on texting whilst driving. Then why is it that there are over 1300,000 injuries every year caused by people texting whilst driving? This includes 11 teenagers who lose their lives every single day to texting whilst driving. These are people’s children, their sons and daughters. What can possibly be so important that anyone would want to send a text message whilst they are driving? These are people’s children, their sons and daughters. What can possibly be so important that anyone would want to send a text message whilst they are driving?

Pull over to use your phone
Distracted driving is a serious road hazard and we need to make sure that it occurs less. The majority of car crashes happen when the driver isn’t paying attention. It is up to the responsible driver to make sure that they eliminate any avoidable distractions. It is really sensible to simply put your cell phone in the glove box at the start of the journey and leave it there. This will cut out the temptation to touch it. If you need to use your cell phone then pull over and park. Only use your phone if it is safe to do so.

Set your phone to silent
Another good way of preventing your phone from becoming a distraction is just to set it to silent. If it is incredibly important for someone to speak to you then they will leave a message. You can then return their call when it is safe to do so. Turning your cell phone to silent will also help to stop you from being distracted by incoming text messages. It is better to be safe than sorry, be part of the movement to prevent unnecessary deaths occurring from distracted driving.

Set an example for your children
Twenty years ago, cell phones were just gaining in popularity. If we needed to make a call, it was at home. There wasn’t the need to be constantly connected. There were less road crashes caused by distracted driving. If you have your children in the car with you, don’t take the risk. Make your car a special zone where you don’t pick up your cell phone. Lead by example and show your children that texting whilst you are driving is simply unacceptable. Teenagers who are new drivers are particularly at risk and we need to make sure that every measure is taken to cut out dangerous driving practices. Don’t text and drive and stay safe in the car.

1 https://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-accident/cause-of-accident/cell-phone/cell-phone-statistics.html

Driving while distracted is a growing major public hazard. Cell phone use, texting, eating, grooming, talking to a friend, adjusting a radio, using a GPS or dealing with small children can easily distract drivers and cause accidents. Studies show that 80 percent of motor vehicle crashes are a direct result of driver inattention.

According to distraction.gov, an official U.S. government website created to raise awareness about this issue, there are three main types of distraction – 1) taking your hands off the wheel, 2) taking your eyes off the road, and 3) taking your mind off driving. Texting is considered the most serious distraction. Statistics show that individuals are 23 times more likely to crash while they are texting.

Stay alive, keep your eyes on the road and just drive.

For more information or to arrange a speaker on this topic, please call the Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition speaker’s bureau at 239-330-2250. Speakers are provided free of charge to community groups and schools.
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