On a daily basis, I see drivers going under the speed limit, swerving into the next lane and making last minute decisions. Most of the time, I notice that the bad drivers are either talking on their cell phone or texting. In my experience, teenagers are responsible for most of the texting while driving. As someone who doesn’t text while driving, I can’t imagine what could be so important that someone would need to text while behind the wheel. One young adult’s text before a near fatal crash has become a teachable moment for parents.
The Text that Almost Killed Him
Six months ago, 21-year-old Chance Bothe was texting while driving. He was reportedly arguing with a “childhood friend.” During the conversation one of texts he wrote said, “I need to quit texting, because I could die in a car accident.” Not long after, Bothe texted “b right there.” However, instead of meeting his friend, he went off the side of the road and his car plunged into a ravine. The young man suffered serious injuries such as “a severe skull fracture” and a “punctured right lung.”
Talking to Your Kids about Driving and Texting
Sometimes it is hard for kids to realize the risks associated with texting while driving. Chance’s story is a good one to share with your children. Although graphic, sharing pictures of the crash could be a wakeup call to some kids. In addition, parents should talk to kids about how insignificant texts are not worth jeopardizing people’s lives. Furthermore, discuss what happens when a person texts. For instance, teens should know that “sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind.” Find more alarming statistics at distraction.gov.
Unfortunately some teens may not heed the warnings. Luckily, there are smart phone apps made to help decrease distractions while your teen is driving. One app called Textarrest “disables texting and email on smartphones while driving.” As parents, we also have to remember to be good role models. If we text while behind the wheel, we are sending the signal that this is okay to do. Of course, if you discover your teen is texting while driving, you may have to take away their driving privileges.
Motor vehicle crashes are not something to be taken lightly. In fact, according to the CDC, car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in America. Personally, I don’t want my children to become a statistic.
Man texts, ‘I need to quit texting’ before driving into ravine digitallife.today.msnbc.msn.com
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