Texting And Driving - Tips To Break The Habit
Oct 27th, 2010
TIPS TO STOP YOURSELF FROM TEXTING AND DRIVING
- Put the cell phone out of reach, in the back seat. Or, turn it off.
Pull over. If it's essential to read an incoming message, or send one, then resist the urge for instant gratification, and wait until it's safe to pull over, do the texting--and then turn the cell phone off or throw it into the back seat, out of reach.
Don't try to "save" the text messaging for a red light. Driving and text messaging aren't compatable activities, so it's better not to start down that slippery slope.
Instant technology creates its own sense of urgency but at the end of the day, most text messages probably can wait.
If someone else is in the car, ask them to use their own phone to obtain necessary information.
Ask the passenger to as act as "switchboard operator" and read the driver's incoming text messages aloud, and if necessary reply
Ask the passenger to help break the texting-while-driving habit by cautioning against it.
APPS TO HELP YOU BREAK THE HABIT
A search for "text blocking apps" turns up lots of options, most made for specific smart phones, not regular cell phones.
The NOTXT n' Drive app allows phone owners to disable texting while driving.
NOTXT n' Drive inventor George Distler explained. " It shuts off the signal to your text ability, and it will not work again until you car is stopped."
Built-in GPS tells the app when you're moving so it blocks texts. Once you stop and the phone receives a signal again, all of your back texts you may have missed while driving will appear as normal.
You can download the NOTXT n' Drive app for a one time fee of $2.99.
Other apps on the internet charge one time fees, some have monthly plans, while others are free.
INDIANA - Cell phone use and texting for drivers under 18 became a primary offense in Indiana in 2009. Attempts to pass universal bans on handheld cell phone use and texting while driving failed in 2010, but legislators may submit legislation in 2011.
ILLINOIS - On January 1, 2010, it became a primary offense in Illinois to text while driving. Further, all cell phone use in school and construction zones, for drivers under 19, and for school bus drivers is prohibited as a primary offense. Chicago has a ban on handheld phone use within city limits, and similar legislation restricting handheld phone use has been proposed in the state legislature.
MICHIGAN - On April 30, 2010, Governor Granholm signed legislation making texting while driving a primary offense. The law went into effect on July 1, 2010.
HERE'S THE FACTS
Using a cell phone while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (Source: University of Utah)
In 2009, 5,474 people were killed and an additional 448,000 people were injured in distracted driving-related motor vehicle crashes on U.S. roadways.
Of those people killed in distracted driving crashes, 995 cases (18%) involved reports of a cellphone. Of those injured in distracted driving crashes, 24,000 cases (5%) involved reports of a cell phone.
16% of fatal crashes and 20% of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving.
The under-20 age group had the greatest proportion of distracted drivers in fatal crashes; 16% of all drivers under 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving.