While the popularity of cell phones has grown exponentially over the years, so has the popularity of texting while driving. Texting while driving slows the driver’s reaction time, diverts the driver’s attention from the road ahead, and puts other drivers in jeopardy. Drivers need to be protected while driving, and one way to do it is to install text-blocking software or applications. There are different types of anti-texting applications, some for instance:
- Send auto respond texts that you are currently operating a motor vehicle and cannot respond when receiving a text.
- Read emails and texts aloud to you – which would keep your eyes on the road, however, would motivate you to reply and possibly still result in distraction.
- Use the cell phone’s GPS system, if moving at speeds higher than 5 mph blocks/locks the cell phone, only allowing for 911 or speed dial calls – which is safe as well, however, travelling on trains, buses or other cars as passengers, would also block/lock the cell phone.
The prices of these apps vary, averaging approximately $5 per month per number, with some being free. Most of the text blocking software is targeted specifically for teen drivers and their concerned parents since teens are the largest demographic of cell phone users in the United States.
Another method of preventing texting and driving are cell phone pledges to not text and drive. One program that our firm supports is Teens Against Distracted Driving (TADD). TADD was created to educate and encourage teens to stop texting and driving.
Distracted drivers are one of the leading causes of car accidents. Accidents and fatalities caused by texting while driving are on the rise and will continue to increase if nothing is done about it. According to a study from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, cell phones were determined to be the most common driver distraction and that the risk of a crash or near crash was 23.2 times more likely to happen when texting. Texting while driving is about 6 times more likely to result in an accident than driving while intoxicated.
Any other ideas to prevent your kids from driving and texting? Feel free to comment below. For more information, please see the article on Teens Against Distracted Driving (TADD), and a shocking public service announcement regarding texting at the wheel, both of which can be found on the Carpey Law website.