Operating a vehicle used to mean all hands – and feet – on deck. And, it once seemed a phenomenon to see a traveler pass you at seventy miles per hour, eyes on a keypad instead of the highway. Today, it’s not hard to catch a glimpse of texting drivers and see accidents waiting to happen. In fact, vehicular tragedies caused by texting run neck to neck with those caused by drunk driving. State legislation and“don’t text and drive” campaigns are in full effect.
Car and Driver Magazine conducted a survey to determine brake time when emailing or texting compared to an illegal blood alcohol level. The results:
- Unimpaired, the average driver takes about .54 seconds to brake
- Driversimpaired by alcohol consumption need four more feet to stop
- Drivers email ingor surfing the web need 36 more feet to stop
- Drivers texting need an additional 70 feet to stop
On a busy road or highway, additional braking space is not always available. The result? Dangerous and sometimes fatal collisions. It’s no wonder that thirty-two states prohibit texting for all drivers.
Many of us have developed this false sense of control and become habitual texting-while-driving offenders.Here are three helpful tips for breaking this bad habit:
- Invest in cell phone safety devices.Hands-free devices, cell phone mounts, and even voice dialing technology are available for most smartphones today. These help eliminate the need to dial or look up phone numbers.
- Turn off your ringer for short distance trips. You can text, search the net, and make calls before you begin your drive and follow up with text and calls once you reach your destination.
- Set your calendar and your music before long trips. You can share your itinerary with loved ones ahead of time and check-in at rest stops. You can also prepare your music or iPod station for your trip the morning of or night before your trip to avoid surfing while driving.
Cell phones are not just cool gadgets; they have become as integral to our lifestyles as our vehicles. But like cars, they should be used responsibly.