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Guest Post: Texting and Driving – It Can Wait

car accident texting while drivingWe are pleased to share this post from guest blogger Craig Conover, a writer from Pittsburgh, PA, with an interest in all things technology.

Despite the fact that texting and driving have been banned in the state of Pennsylvania — and 43 other states, for that matter — people are still participating in the extremely dangerous activity. So much so that the city of Erie has taken part in a no-text-and-drive campaign to drive home the message that we need to put an end to distracted driving.

According to Your Erie, the campaign mostly focuses on reducing the number of teenagers using their phones while out on the road. They reported that 32 percent of teens who own phones use them to text when they’re behind the wheel. Additionally, 13 percent of drivers aged 18 to 20 who have been in a collision admitted that they were using their phone or other mobile devices when the incident occurred.

Those numbers are terribly surprising when you realize just how long you are distracted when you’re sending a text, tweet, Snapchat, etc… As noted here by Verizon Wireless, the average text (or any other message) takes about 4.6 seconds to send. And in that time your eyes are off the road, you are 23 times more likely to get into an accident. Why? Because if you’re driving 55 mph, for example, you will have driven the length of a football field, which is 100 yards, completely blind. Verizon also offered more nationwide numbers to demonstrate how much of a problem this is, including the fact that 57 percent of people aged 21 to 24 admitted to sending a text or email while driving.

So what can be done to put an end to this activity aside from legislation?

Well, drivers obviously take the initiative and change those statistics by not participating. And for those wondering, no, that doesn’t mean you need to be completely cut off from your contacts. By using the Safely Go app, for example, you can automatically inform anyone calling or texting you that you are maintaining your focus and will get back to them once your drive is complete. You can also adjust the app to have several emergency contacts who can always get through to you.

Communities can also continue to get involved. It doesn’t just need to be through a campaign such as the one in Erie, though, as there are numerous ways this can be accomplished. For example, police on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus have installed an attention-grabbing road sign that plays off one the common abbreviations sent through text. “Stay Alive/Don’t Text And Drive/OMG,” the sign flashes to drivers who, hopefully, are being reminded that the text or tweet they’re tempted to send is not worth the risk.

Remember, when it comes to texting and driving: It Can Wait. 

-Craig Conover

If you or a loved one have been involved in an auto accident, the experienced car accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys are here to answer your questions. Contact us at 855-866-5529. 

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