Now you all know I am a profound user of technology. This is food for thought as we start the nice weather, Prom, Wedding and Graduation season.
As you drive out of the parking lot you only have one thing on your mind, how amazing your new phone is; you continue driving down the tree lined road when your phone suddenly goes off. By instinct you glance down at it seeing it was a text. The next thing you know there’s a loud crash and the next thing you know you’re in a hospital room surrounded by beeping machines. In just three seconds you went from driving home to painfully laying in a hospital bed. In 2015, 330,000 injuries are caused by people texting while driving.
Nearly 1.6 million car accidents occur due to people glancing at their phones or other technology even if it’s just for a few seconds. Another statistic 1 out of 4 car accidents are caused by texting and driving. Today there are constant commercials reminding you to not text and drive. I have been told this blog is preaching to the choir, maybe. Most people who text and drive are NOT teenagers, this surprised me the age group that texts and drives is the 25 to 45-year-old.
What else are you doing in your besides driving? Years ago statistics showed that the radio alone was a major distraction when driving. Now let’s list out some the current distractions from touchscreen radios, cellphones, tablets, shaving, coffee drinking and speeding. So you are thinking, well Trish, I use my Bluetooth in the car to take phone calls, I do not text, I do drink coffee, who does not like a good coffee, I am covered, right. The answer is NO! What about the other driver in the car behind, in front or next to you, what it they are not a conscious as you are and they are distracted? The one glance away from the roadway could be the split second that causes an accident.
So how can you avoid accidents with all the distractions out there? Well you can’t avoid them all but you can defiantly reduce how much they affect you. Don’t let you phone or other technology control you and cause you more trouble than it worth. Here are a few helpful tips:
1. If you’re driving alone one thing you can do is simply power off your phone. This way your phone won’t be a distraction while you’re driving. Now for most people this may not work because maybe you are expecting an important call or message your phone may be needed. In this case you should use the following tip.
2. When you get that important call or message just pull over. It’s as easy as that. Just go to the side of the road or pull into a parking lot and take the call or read the text.
3. Using hands free calling. Now this tip is used more if you are on a highway or driving on a road where pulling over isn’t safe or a good idea. Hands free calling is a feature on almost every new car. All you have to do is connect your phone and depending on your type of car it will let you call or even text through your car. There are also many Bluetooth headsets available for you to use if you have an older car or one that doesn’t connect to your phone. As long as you have a smartphone most Bluetooth headsets will work with your phone. You can get one at almost anywhere that sells electronics and in a various amount of colors. They tend to be about $19.99 but can be more expensive or less expensive depending on the quality of the headset.
4. When driving with other people have them read that text or answer the call
So enjoy your technology but do it safely, take that brand new phone and put it somewhere that won’t distract you when you are driving. Whether you have a selected passenger look after it for you, pull over to the side of the road, simply turn it off, or use a headset it’s defiantly better than taking your eyes off the road for more than a few seconds causing you to end up in a hospital bed with an IV stuck in your arm.