The Dangers of Texting

The Dangers of Texting

These days it isn’t often that my teenage son sits down for some” quality” time with Mom. So when he interrupted my weekly Cupcake Wars fix, I gladly turned over the remote control. I was doing my best to act interested in the dirt bike races he was watching, when an AT&T commercial featuring their “Last Text” campaign came on. The commercial features somber parents and a screen shot of the last text their daughter sent before being involved in a fatal accident. AT&T’s message is “no text is worth dying over.” The dangers of texting is a conversation my son and I had too many times to count.

stop-textingAs we watched the commercial, I resisted the opportunity to lecture, and therefore ruin the moment. Thank you AT&T for taking a stand against texting and driving, and for running the commercial during a show primarily watched by teenage boys.

The AT&T campaign is one of the strongest No Texting campaigns I’ve seen. I visited their website today and was impressed by all it had to offer. From the No Texting While Driving pledge to the Texting and Driving Simulator to their DriveMode® app that when enabled and the vehicle is moving 25 mph, automatically sends a customizable auto-reply message to incoming texts*, letting friends know you’re behind the wheel and will reply when it’s safe.

Some states have begun enacting laws addressing driving and using electronic devises. Washington was the first state to ban texting in 2007. For a complete list of state distracted driving laws go to: http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html.

plane2

Unfortunately the dangers of texting don’t stop at getting behind the wheel of a car. Just this month texting by the pilot of a medical helicopter contributed to a crash that killed four people. Although no U.S. airline crashes have been tied to texting, the Federal Aviation Administration proposed regulations prohibiting airline flight crews from using cell phones and other wireless devises while a plane is in operation.

texting-and-walking

And finally there are those folks who feel they can text while walking. You may have seen the youtube videos of folks typing away and walking out in front of traffic, falling into fountains, or banging into street lights.

We live in a fast-paced world where multi-tasking is the norm. What do you think needs to be done to eliminate the dangers associated with texting?

Author

Welcome to Destination Safety, a weekly blog offering a personal look at automobile safety and related topics. As a mother of two, my goal has always been to impart a little wisdom, share my experiences – good and bad - and do my best to keep my children safe. Protecting yourself and the ones you love. That’s really what safety is all about. I graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism in 1982. Given that the job market for a young, relatively green wordsmith was a little tight, I took a job with Allstate Insurance in their personal lines claim department. I witnessed firsthand the perils of driving. As luck would have it, several years later a position opened in the Corporate Relations Department. I was once again embracing my passion for communications, this time with an awakened appreciation for the importance of advocating for safer roads and safer drivers. After years of mid-western living, we moved to sunny Florida seven years ago. My 17-year-old son gives me lots of fodder for safety tips and my 24-year-old daughter, well let’s just say, she learned to drive in the snow. I used to wish for a doctor in the family. Now I’m thankful for my relationship with Sterling Autobody Centers.

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