Don't Text and Drive Blog

New Partnership With TextNinja!

Posted by Robert Edgin on Tue, Nov 29, 2016 @ 03:47 PM

Texting Thumb Bands is proud to announce our new partnership with TextNinja in order to ramp up our fight against texting and driving! Now, in addition to reminding drivers of the dangers of texting and driving and educating them through campaigns across the country, TextNinja is helping us provide an added solution to the problem of texting and driving!

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TextNinja approaches the problem of distracted driving with positive incentives to drive behavior change. "Giving drivers a team-focused reason to stop texting behind the wheel is a powerful way to drive change. We’re in this together, so we should be fixing it together (it’s not the first time we’ve said “social solution to a social problem”)."

Be on the look out for more information about the upcoming TextNinja challenge, and check out all that the TextNinja can do to help keep the drivers in your home, school, office and city from texting and driving! Click here: www.TextNinja.com

Tags: don't text and drive, no texting while driving, texting and driving awareness

Make It Stop: Companies Fight Texting and Driving

Posted by Robert Edgin on Tue, Apr 16, 2013 @ 12:58 AM

Of the 2 trillion text messages sent each year, too many are sent from moving vehicles. The 1drving texting resized 600 CDC stats on distracted driving are alarming, so much so that private corporations are stepping up to the plate. It's not just non-profits and Ad Councils promoting safer behavior, BMW and AT&T have both launched campaigns designed to curb distracted driving. Given the dangers involved and the consequences of any accident involving a motor vehicle, you wouldn't think we'd need advertising to know better. Sadly, too many of us just aren't paying attention.

One in Three Text and Drive

In this case, the stats aren't lying. But, if you claim you don't text and drive, you might be. According to a recent survey by the CDC on distracted driving, 31 percent of American drivers admitted to sending or reading an email or texting while driving in the past 30 days. Here's one example of our European counterparts outsmarting us, rates in most countries across the pond are much lower. How does that translate to accidents? Almost 20 percent of accidents in 2010 involved a distracted driver. The likelihood of getting in an accident increases 23 times while texting and driving. So, aside from the laws making texting while driving illegal, it's downright dangerous. Thankfully, automakers and phone companies are stepping up in an effort to make our drivers and our roads safer.

BMW Takes a Stand

With support from Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, BMW North America stepped up with a multi-platform campaign in 2011 including TV, digital, radio and print to educate drivers about the dangers of texting while driving. The campaign was titled "Don't TXT & Drive" and pulled on the heartstrings of every parent. It reminded drivers what's at stake with their family in the car and their attention not on the road. That's sure to make you feel better about buying a BMW. Even if you're considering a used BMW, it's nice to know they're taking action.

AT&T Has Something to Say

So an automaker is hoping to stop the danger of texting and driving, what about the cell phone companies? Data plans are growing and smartphones are as popular as they've ever been. AT&T isn't just doing an advertising campaign, they created an interactive exhibit for high-school students that toured the country. In 2010, the company launched the campaign titled "It Can Wait" asking drivers if the last text they read or sent was worth causing a serious accident. If that wasn't enough to drive the point home, they also featured parents of teens killed in accidents and injured accident survivors. It's hard to argue with the sight of a paralyzed teen or a crying parent. In 2013, they followed up by creating a simulator and taking it to high-school students, visiting Ohio to coincide with the state's new law banning texting while driving.

What About You?

Now that you've heard what BMW, the CDC and AT&T have to say about texting and driving, what's your takeaway? You're controlling a hunk of metal hurtling down the road at upward of 60 miles per hour. It doesn't matter how many airbags you have or how good your ABS is, the best safety feature in your car sits behind the wheel— it's you. Keeping your attention on the road and your eyes on the oncoming traffic is the surest way to keep you and your passengers safe. If you or someone you know or love is texting and driving, it needs to stop. For your sake, for your passenger's sake, and for everyone else's on the road with you.

Tags: don't text and drive, no texting while driving, texting and driving accidents, texting thumb bands, texting and driving bans, texting and driving awareness

Can Gamification Improve Teen Driving And Stop Texting And Driving?

Posted by Robert Edgin on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 @ 02:56 PM

It's easy to vilify games as distractions or time wasters, but it's not always a black and whiteTeen Driver debate.Gamifyingis the practice of adding a gaming element to an activity, and it can be quite effective. By adding stakes or points to otherwise tedious practices, you incentivize achievement. Gamificationcan be as simple as turning a lesson into a challenge or as complicated as rethinking your entire life.

Memorizing the rules of the road is necessary, but uninteresting to a teenager. Even though there's no real world benefit, there is a satisfaction to winning a game. So how can you marry the appeal of a game with something tedious or unappealing to get the result you want from your teen driver?

GamifyDriving Lessons

First, remember that you hold the power. Sure teens are headstrong and over-confident about their abilities, butyouhold the purse-strings. You own the car, maintain the insurance and provide the living quarters. Driving is a responsibility, so tie it in to everyday life if you think your teen will best respond to that. Or, make driving its own game.

Assign positive point values to desirable behaviors like:

  • Coming to a complete stop in reverse before shifting into drive.
  • Using turn signals and checking blind spots appropriately.
  • Parallel parking successes.
  • Stopping for yellow lights rather than speeding up.

Assign negative point values to problematic behaviors like:

  • Even picking up a cell phone while operating a vehicle or texting and driving (make this a big deduction).
  • Overly passive or overly aggressive passing and merging.
  • Speeding.
  • Brake slamming.
  • Rolling through stops.

Once you've established point values create standards, rewards and consequences. Are privileges suspended or limited at a certain level? Is curfew extended for a high score? Every family and every driver will be a little different but the underlying idea is the same. Constant feedback, both negative and positive, will let the driver know what they're doing right and what they can improve on. Driving is a serious responsibility in which, unlike games, you don't get unlimited lives.

Improving Basic Skills

Gamers have long asserted that they develop skills like increased hand-eye coordination and tactical thinking skills from games. It's been oft discussed and plenty of research has been done to back that up, though it's hard to know if encouraging your teen to spend more time playing Halo will noticeably impact driving performance.

World renowned game developer Jane McGonigal,PhD says "gameplay is extremely productive." She continues, in an op-ed piece contributed to The Guardian, "it does produce the positive emotions scientists say are crucial to our health and success." What does that mean for your teen driver? Well, McGonigal posits that " we are more likely to help someone in real life after we've helped them in a co-operative game." I don't know about you, but I'd rather drive next to a confident and cooperative driver, rather than an aggressive and selfish one. If a little extra (appropriate) gaming will lend itself to better driving and everyday behavior... well I say go for it.

Dont forget the rewards for winning the game. One reward could be a texting thumb band, wrist band or t shirt! Not only is it a reward, it's a great reminder NOT to text and drive! Find some great rewards in the Safety Store:

Click me

Tags: no texting while driving, texting thumb bands, teens texting and driving, teen texting and driving accident, texting and driving awareness

Alaska D.O.T. Looking To Make The Largest State Safer For Drivers

Posted by Robert Edgin on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 @ 02:38 PM

At more than twice the size of Texas, Alaska is the by far the largest state in map of alaska resized 600the U.S. but with only 481,487 drivers, it ranks 48th in size of drivers. But that's not stopping the Alaska Department of Transportation from taking steps to promote safer, text-free driving on Alaskan roads and highways.

We're thrilled to be providing text-free driving materials to the Alaskan D.O.T. for their text-free driving campaign. It's great to see an entire state getting involved in the fight against the deadliest driving habit since drinking and driving and we know they're going to make a great impact throughout the state and save lives along the way.

With over 400,000 people injured in texting and driving accidents last year alone, we need more states to take the initiative and work on changing driver's thoughts and misconceptions about texting and driving. Most people still admit that they believe they have the ability to safely text and drive, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Changing people's thoughts and behaviors about drinking and driving and seatbelt use has made significant impacts on the overall safety of driving throughout the U.S. Together we can do the same for texting and driving and makes the roads a safer place for all of us. Thanks, Alaska, for doing your part to help!

Tags: no texting while driving, texting thumb bands, Alaska texting and driving, texting and driving awareness, texting and driving laws

New Crash Infographic - Texting and Driving

Posted by Robert Edgin on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 @ 11:34 AM

Infographics are becoming more and more popular, and for a very good reason. They share information in an easy to understand format, using both information and graphics (hence the term infographic). I recently came across the following infographic that demonstrates - again - the dangers of distracted driving and texting and driving. Take a look.

Infographic: Car Accident Statistics
Infographic authored by the Austin car injury lawyers of the Law Offices of Vic Feazell, P.C..

Tags: don't text and drive, no texting while driving, texting and driving accidents, texting and driving statistics, texting thumb bands

There Are Other Ways To Remind People Not To Text And Drive

Posted by Robert Edgin on Tue, Sep 25, 2012 @ 11:15 PM

We've long been promoting texting thumb bands as a great way to remind teen and adult drivers that texting and driving do NOT go together. We recommend texting thumb bands for a very good reason - you use your thumbs to text! However, there are a lot of other great ways to encourage people to put down their phone while they are driving. Here are just a few:

describe the imageDon’t Text And Drive T Shirts: Yep, you can wear the message on your chest in addition to on your thumbs! A great logo and a crystal clear message like “Don’t Text And Drive” go a long way in the fight against texting and driving.

describe the imageWrist Bands: Move the message 4 inches up your arm from your thumb to your wrist and watch people’s response. Especially if your wrist band glows in the dark!

 

Phone Guard/Text Deterrent: It’s hard to text when you’ve got a text deterrent blockingdescribe the image you. Wrist bands serve a double purpose, when you get in your car and change your wrist band into a phone guard you’re visually reminded that you need to wait to text. You can even get one that glows in the dark so you’re reminded at night too!

describe the imageText Hammer: If all else fails, use the ultimate deterrent – the text hammer! The text hammer stops texting and driving once and for all and gives a great visual demonstration of how much damage texting can cause. To use, swing the text hammer onto the phone being used to text and drive. Repeat as needed until phone will no longer text.

 

Texting Duct Tape: An easy solution for those problem texting hands that refuse to stay ondescribe the image the steering wheel. Texting duct tape is guaranteed to reinforce the lessons of proper hand placement while driving. Simply apply texting duct tape to any stubborn hands and watch as hands instantly become more secure in the proper position. Reapply extra layers as needed.

Texting Screen Cover: Guaranteed to stop wandering eyes from looking at incomingdescribe the image

texts, the texting screen cover is a great addition in the fight to stop texting and driving. Quick and easy application of the texting screen cover allows any auto passenger to immediately stop drivers from texting and driving. Make sure you buy multiple covers so you’re prepared for every ride.

 

Make sure you’re armed with every tool there is to keep yourself, your friends and family and everyone in your community from texting and driving. You’ll be making a difference and helping to keep people safe. And you never know, the life you save may just be your own.


Tags: don't text and drive, no texting while driving, texting thumb bands, teen texting and driving accident, texting and driving bans, texting while driving, texting and driving awareness

Allstate Insurance Works With Celebs To Curb Texting And Driving

Posted by Robert Edgin on Wed, Sep 19, 2012 @ 11:43 PM

We want to send a thank you and give a big shout out to Allstate Insurance for spreading the word about the dangers of texting and driving! Allstate recently teamed up with a whole host of Hollywood celebs to encourage everyone to be text-free drivers:

“The 6th annual Variety Power of Youth event took place this past Saturday, Sept. 15 in Los Angeles, California. Featured was Allstate's XtheTXT campaign to encourage young drivers not to text and drive. During the event, Hollywood's rising stars and others pledged not to text and drive by inking their thumbprints on a Ford Focus wrapped with XtheTXT messaging and imagery. Many young celebrities, including Joe, Kevin and Nick Jonas, Kat Graham, Jordin Sparks, Christian Serratos, Diego Boneta and R.J. Mitte as well as Hollywood and sports legends such as George Lopez and Greg Louganis took the pledge at the event held at Paramount Studios.

Through their activities, celebrities and event-goers spread the XtheTXT message to more than two million people on Twitter and thousands more on Facebook.”

"The celebrities honored at the Variety Power of Youth event are inspiring young people to be responsible behind the wheel by putting the phone down," said Joan Walker, executive vice president of corporate relations at Allstate. "We know that more than 3,000 lives are lost annually because of distracted driving. This simple promise can save thousands of lives."

Way to go Allstate, we're thankful for the help in fighting texting and driving and educating the masses! Now we just need to figure out how we can get some of these super stars to send us some photos wearing their TXTNG KILLS thumb bands or W8 2 TXT thumb bands! Some of the celebrities that signed the pledge were Kat Graham and George Lopez plus many more young and up and coming stars.

Kat Grahamdescribe the image


Tags: no texting while driving, texting thumb bands, teens texting and driving, texting while driving, texting and driving awareness

New Statistics For Texting And Driving

Posted by Robert Edgin on Sat, Sep 15, 2012 @ 01:03 PM

I wish I could report that less people are texting and driving, less people are crashing from distracted driving and less people are being injured or killed in texting and driving crashes, but new studies confirm that it's not true.

2011 Distracted Driving Statistics

Most adults who drive admit to engaging in distracted driving behaviors, according to a HealthDay poll from November 10-14, 2011. More than 2,800 American adults responded to the poll. Results showed the following statistics:

  • Approximately 86% of drivers said they ate or drank while driving at some point, and 57% said they do it “sometimes” or “often.”
  • Over 1/3 of drivers (37%) have sent or received text messages while driving, and 18% said they do it regularly.
  • Forty-one percent of adult drivers have set or changed a GPS system while driving, and 21% do it “more frequently.”
  • Many adult drivers (36%) have read a map while driving, and 10% do it “sometimes” or “often.”
  • One in five drivers have combed or styled his or her hair while driving. One in ten does it regularly.
  • Have you ever seen a driver putting on makeup? Approximately 14% have done it once, and 7% do it frequently.
  • About 13% of adult drivers have surfed the Internet while driving.
  • Results of the poll showed that younger drivers were more likely to engage in distracted driving. Men were more likely to drive while drowsy, drive after drinking, read a map, use a GPS system, and use the Internet.
  • A large percentage of the people said they know distracted driving is dangerous, but do it anyway.

Driver Electronic Use in 2010

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the percentage of drivers who were using a cell phone (texting or manipulating it in some way) increased to 0.9% in 2010.
  • The percentage of drivers using a cell phone while holding it to their ears was 5% in 2010
  • The level of hand-held cell phone use was higher among female drivers than it was for male drivers.
  • Younger drivers ages 16 to 24 were more likely to use a hand-held cell phone.
  • More than three-quarters reported that they were likely to answer calls on all, most, or some trips while driving. They also said that they rarely consider traffic situations when deciding to use their cell phones.
  • There were 3,092 deaths in distraction-related accidents in 2010, but the number is likely much higher.
  • Most drivers said they are willing to answer a call or text while driving, but most of these same drivers said they would feel unsafe as a passenger in a car where the driver was sending or receiving text messages.

Texting While Driving Statistics

  • About 6,000 deaths and a half a million injuries are caused by distracted drivers every year.
  • While teenagers are texting, they spend about 10 percent of the time outside the driving lane they’re supposed to be in.
  • Talking on a cell phone while driving can make a young driver’s reaction time as slow as that of a 70-year-old.
  • Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. That is enough time to travel the length of a football field.

Study Reveals the Dangers of Texting While Driving

The following statistics come from a study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI):

  • Of all cell phone related tasks – including talking, dialing, or reaching for the phone – texting while driving is the most dangerous.
  • Teen drivers are four times more likely than adults to get into car crashes or near crash events directly related to talking on a cell phone or texting.
  • A car driver dialing a cell phone is 2.8 times more likely to get into a crash than a non-distracted driver.
  • A driver reaching for a cell phone or any other electronic device is 1.4 times more likely to experience a car crash.
  • A car driver talking on their phone is 1.3 times more likely to get into an accident.
  • A truck driver texting while driving is 23.2 times more likely to get into an accident than a trucker paying full attention to the road.
  • A truck driver dialing a cell is 5.9 times more likely to crash.
  • A trucker reaching for a phone or other device is 6.7 times more likely to experience a truck accident.
  • For every 6 seconds of drive time, a driver sending or receiving a text message spends 4.6 of those seconds with their eyes off the road. This makes texting the most distracting of all cell phone related tasks.

Tags: no texting while driving, texting and driving accidents, texting thumb bands, teens texting and driving, teen texting and driving accident, texting while driving

Why (And How) Abby Whitney Is Trying To Stop Texting And Driving

Posted by Robert Edgin on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 @ 10:29 PM

We recently asked for testimonials from people who have participated in texting and driving campaigns in their schools. We received a lot of touching responses from people all across the country. Abby's was not only touching, it was inspirational. It moved us. It motivated us. Here is Abby's story:

"I wanted to tell you about the campaign that we started at our school. It all began on December 30, 2011. I lost my 18 year old cousin in a texting and driving accident. She had everything going for her; was a part of NHS, lead scorer on her varsity basketball team, and was accepted into Indiana University where she was scheduled to start this week. On that Friday evening, she was taking a friend home after a day of shopping and she chose to read and respond to a text message. She was not wearing her seatbelt and when she lost control of the minivan she was driving, she was ejected out of the front windshield and was pronounced dead at the scene. Our family was deeply traumatized by this accident and the loss of such a beautiful person.

As I drove home, 5.5 hours, to attend her visitation and funeral, I witnessed many people texting and driving. Each person I saw sparked an anger and frustration and I felt determined to do something about it. Fortunately, I am a teacher at a K-12 public school and knew I had access to the perfect audience. When I returned to school, I was approached by my principal and several teachers who wanted me to tell my family's story to the highschool student body. This is EXACTLY what I wanted.

A week later, while the pain was still deep, an assembly was scheduled where I told my cousin's story. The reaction and response was larger than I had ever anticipated. I had students coming up to me afterwards with tears streaming down their face. I had one student who said to me that texting and driving was something she had always done but never had anything to connect it to. She promised me, on that afternoon, that she would never do it again. I knew that my determination couldn't end on that afternoon. I knew that my family had been too greatly impacted for it to end with that presentation.

After I found out that my cousin's school had ordered thumb bands from your company, I decided to place my own order for the students and faculty at my school. A club at school approached me about wanting to help finance the order and we ordered 500 thumb bands. At that point we were unsure of how we would distribute those thumb bands. Several weeks passed and a plan came together. We entered a contest through Toyota and Discovery Education and came up with a distracted driving campagin. In March, we held another assembly. We presented our students with a pledge that they could sign during lunch that day. The pledge card was geared towards drivers, but on the reverse side were conversation starters. The conversation starters were ways that nondrivers could ask a driver (friend, parent, etc) to put their phone away while they are driving in the car. Each student that signed the pledge received a thumb band. During the assembly we also provided students with information on apps for their phones that could be downloaded to prevent texting while driving.

We ended the assembly with a video message from my cousin's friends. The video reiterated the loss of their friend and how the impact of losing someone you love can be lasting. We ended up coming in second place in the Toyota Teen Driver Contest.

We were awarded with a driving simulator and cash prize, worth a total of over $18,000. With our award, our campaign has gotten even stronger. We have bought wrist bands and lawn signs that help promote our campaign. We set up a campaign booth at a local festival, where we presented our information and sold lawn signs to the public. In June, we were able to offer one of our high school seniors a scholarship in my cousin's honor. Our campaign has taken on a tremendous speed and urgency and I can't believe how far it has come. Now that we have our driving simulator, I am eager to continue spreading awareness and encouraging drivers, young and old, to put their phones away, while behind the wheel. No text is worth your life"

Thank you to Abby, and to everyone else out there working to make a difference and save the lives of teen drivers all across North America. Keep up the good work!

Tags: don't text and drive, no texting while driving, texting and driving accidents, texting thumb bands, teens texting and driving, teen texting and driving accident, texting and driving awareness

Eric Okerblom's Story, A Texting And Driving Tragedy

Posted by Robert Edgin on Mon, Jun 25, 2012 @ 12:57 AM

All texting and driving accidents are preventable. Most texting and driving accidents causeEric Okerblom injuries and some end in tragedy. We've heard many, many stories from people who have either been injured in texting and driving accidents or lost a loved one because of someone's texting and driving. Eric Okerblom's story, shared with us by his mom, Eilene, is one that ends in tragedy. Here is what Eilene shared about her son:

"By any measure, 19 year old Eric Okerblom was a remarkable man. While still in high school he had already developed as an artist and a musician, earned seven varsity letters, and was a National Merit Finalist. In a single weekend he both ran the LA Marathon (without training) and presented his original research at a youth scientific symposium. He dabbled in beekeeping, was intrigued by carnivorous plants, loved mountains, enjoyed photography, and rocketed on a snowboard. Eric was wise, gentle, sensitive, and genuine; a quiet leader who was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" by his senior class. Despite all of his gifts, Eric was humble and grateful. Eric was the rare, enlightened person you would want for a friend.

In the summer of 2009, Eric studied and traveled in Nicaragua with his life's love, Holly. Soon he Eric Okerblomwould return to the University of California at Berkeley to resume his studies in Molecular Biology. He was very committed to improving this world. The Tour de France had just ended and Eric became enamored with cycling. He was intent on joining the Cal cycling team in the fall.

On July 25, 2009, Eric was bicycling on a straight, unobstructed, country road. Although visible for hundreds of yards, he was violently struck and killed by a distracted teenage driver who neither swerved nor braked. Subsequent subpoena of phone records revealed driver texting had occurred in the immediate proximity of the collision. This beautiful life was extinguished and our family and community diminished from entirely unnecessary diver distraction."

Texting and driving takes lives and ruins lives. It is illegal in most states and deadly in all of them. Make the smart choice and put away your phone when you get into your car. For more information on the Eric Okerblom foundation, visit http://www.eofoundation.net/

Tags: no texting while driving, texting and driving accidents, texting thumb bands, teen texting and driving accident