Save That Text For Later

Natalie W

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Save That Text For Later “Teen Killed in Car Crash Due to Distracted Driving” has become a headline seen more and more often every day. In fact, about 4000 teens lose their lives in crashes each year. This tragic statistic is a very real one and has a very real solution… save that text for later. Never use your cellular device while in the driver’s seat of a car. Even if you are at a stop light or stuck in traffic, that phone should stay out of your hands until you have safely arrived at your destination. At least 1 in 4 of all car collisions involve phone use. Let’s change that statistic to zero car collisions involve phone use. Put it down until you are at your destination. Silence it so you don’t get distracted by the flood of notifications from apps and texts. Let people know when you’re at the wheel so they know not to try to contact you until you’ve notified them of your arrival at your destination. Put it away. Leave your phone in your purse, backpack, or even glove box so that you’re not even tempted to reach for it when you’re stopped. While you may feel that being stopped at a light or in traffic is a safe time to use your phone, it’s not. There is no “safe time” for cell phone use while driving a vehicle. You should be focused on your surroundings at all times even if you’re not actively moving. It may seem easy to simply answer a text message at a stop light but what if that light turns green and the driver behind you is also distracted and just guns it when the light changes; the result is you getting rear-ended. That type of collision could be avoided if both parties were focused on driving rather than other things such as cell phones. When driving with your friends, be mindful that even if you don’t participate in touching your phone while driving you are still subject to distractions. The risk of a crash occurring doubles with a single passenger under 21 years of age and that risk quadruples with three or more passengers under 21 years of age. Don’t let your friends become a distraction. Let them help you by answering your phone for you so you can stay focused on the road. Make sure everyone in the car including yourself has a seat belt on. 50% of the people who lose their lives in collisions each year would still be alive if they had worn a seatbelt. Don’t let passengers move about inside of your vehicle while it is moving. Ensure that you have a clear view of your mirrors and back window so that your vision is not obstructed while driving. These things may seem annoying and like small inconveniences but taking these measures to stay safe is a lot less inconvenient than being hospitalized. Save that text for later so your next one doesn’t have to be “Sorry, I can’t make it. I was in a car crash and now I’m in the hospital”.