Don't Text and Drive Blog

Do Reminders Really Stop Texting And Driving?

Posted by Robert Edgin on Sun, Apr 06, 2014 @ 02:45 PM

Our TXTNG KILLS phone guards were recently featured in a news story that ran in Denver. While we're not sure how the journalist found our phone guard, we are sure about the message - reminding drivers NOT to text and drive really does work!

Good habits take time time to form  - about 21 days. If you do something repeatedly for 21 straight days your mind will accept it as a habit and make it a part of your daily life. Exercise routines and diet programs work this way. Stopping smoking works this way, and not texting and driving works this way too. If you can make it 21 days in a row, you've formed a new habit to better your life. When it comes to the habit of texting and driving, you might be saving your life too!

But making it through those first 21 days isn't always easy. Your phone makes a noise while you're driving down the road and your eyes are immediately drawn to the screen to see who needs you. Texts and phone calls let you know you're needed and important and most people can't help but look to see who needs them. It's human nature, but it's also the cause of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries every single year across the United States.

Texting and driving is illegal in 43 states (what the heck is wrong with the other 7 states?) yet the number of texting and driving accidents has not declined much over the past few years.If you're like most people, you need more than laws to keep you from texting and driving.

TXNT KILLS Phoneguard

You need some new habits! To help get you through those first 21 days, try using a TXTNG KILLS phone guard that will actually prevent you from texting while driving. Even the act of taking the wrist band off of your wrist and using it as a phone guard on your phone will form the opinion in your mind that texting and driving is a bad thing. The reminder alone will decrease your urge to text and drive. 

You may also need to put the phone in your glove box, turn off the ringer or power it off completely to avoid the temptation. For the first 21 days, you need to do whatever it takes! You could also designate someone as your texter when you're driving. Get your kids involved and let them text for you. It will keep them occupied AND set a good example about the seriousness of texting and driving. The whole "do as I say and not as I do" attitude doesn't work with kids and texting and driving. If they see you do it, you can be pretty sure they're going to do it too!

There has never been a better time than right now to start forming the habit of being a text free driver. Thanks to the Denver news, there will hopefully be less people on the road texting today than there were yesterday. If you need help, get a texting wrist band/phone guard. It may be the best $1.50 you ever spend. Get one for every driver in your house and start forming good habits together. You'll all be safer and you'll be making the roads safer for everyone else too!

To see the Denver news story, go to http://denver.cbslocal.com/2014/04/03/colorado-drivers-targeted-in-campaign-to-curb-texting-driving/#.U0F-7kekGTI.facebook 

To get your TXTNG KILLS wrist band/phone guard, go to  Click me

Tags: don't text and drive, texting and driving accidents, texting thumb bands, teen texting and driving accident, texting while driving, texting and driving awareness, texting and driving laws

Teen Guide To Driving - No Texting and Driving Allowed!

Posted by Robert Edgin on Fri, Apr 04, 2014 @ 11:03 AM

Guide to Teen Car Insurance and Driver Safety

For More Articles on Car Insurance, Visit Our Car Insurance Resource Center.
We all know teen drivers pose a higher risk behind the wheel than older drivers with more experience, but most teens and parents aren’t aware of what those risks mean. High auto insurance premiums might be the least of a parent’s worries if their son or daughter is involved in a serious accident. Consider the facts: Over a quarter of a million teenage drivers were rushed to the ER due to car accidents in 2010, and nearly one out of every one hundred of them died due to their injuries. These statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Teen Driver Fact Sheet should be enough to keep teens and parents vigilant about safe driving, but each year the trend continues.

The CDC also reports that teen drivers are three times more likely to be involved in an accident than drivers over the age of twenty. It’s no wonder car insurance premiums for teenagers are through the roof. Fortunately, the CDC and other agencies have developed sound strategies to keep teens safe on the road – strategies that also keep their rates affordable.

 

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How to Prepare Teens for Driving

  • Driver’s Education Courses and Programs
    • Most adult drivers have internalized their driving habits; so, when trying to teach “instincts” to sons and daughters, parents probably won’t be as effective as you might hope. No parent can substitute for a professional driving instructor.
    • Tip for parents: Your local department of licensing or department of motor vehicles may offer courses and educational materials to help, and private lessons are readily available across the country. Be sure to go with an accredited or well-established driving instructor, as some fly-by-night instructors might only waste your money and impart few long-lasting skills.
  • Learner’s Permit and Driving With Parental Supervision
    • Most states require new drivers to obtain a learner’s permit before they can apply for their license, with the majority of states requiring a certain number of parent-supervised driving hours logged and recorded by the parent.
    • Tip for parents: Remember to take time to pull over, take a deep breath, and discuss your teen’s driving errors and successes. Particularly if your teen driver is making your blood pressure skyrocket, take a moment to calm yourself so you can be the most effective teacher possible and foster a good environment for them to learn.
  • Websites, Mobile Apps, and Car Accessories for Safe Driving
    • While it may seem counterintuitive, some smartphone apps can help teens drive more safely and with fewer distractions. A few apps of this type operate on a simple premise: lock down the phone’s texting, calling, or browsing functions until the car is at a stand still.
    • Allstate offers informative and entertaining videos and games to capture teens’ attention and educate them about safe driving.
    • Tip for parents: Ask your insurer about GPS units, dashboard cameras, and other gadgets to track your teen’s driving. Such devices, which are readily available online, not only notify the parent by text or email when their teen driver strays a certain distance from home, they also notify parents when the teen exceeds certain speed limits, drives erratically, or is involved in an accident. Many major insurers offer these devices, or provide discounts for families who purchase and install them on their cars.
  • Safe Driving Pledges and Contracts
    • Create a safe driving contract with your teen driver, and have them sign it to acknowledge their commitment to road safety. Setting down specific guidelines and agreements will keep them aware of right and wrong, and will set specific consequences if they break the contract.
    • The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles provides a sample contract as a foundation for your agreement with your teen driver.

Rules of the Road

Even the best education on safe driving will be useless if your teen driver isn’t aware of the rules of the road – both the laws and regulations around operating a motor vehicle, and the unwritten rules of the road for safe driving habits.

  • New Driver Laws
    • Curfews: Many states impose curfews on drivers under the age of 18, which can vary between weeknights and weekends. Check with your local DMV to see what regulations apply at the state or local level.
    • Seatbelts: While seatbelts are required for drivers and passengers in nearly all states, certain states will issue tickets to any unbuckled passengers as well as the driver. To avoid a hike in car insurance premiums after such a violation, make sure your teen is requiring that their friends buckle up and that they only carry as many passengers as there are seatbelts in the car.
  • What to Do if a Police Officer Pulls Over Your Teen Driver
    • Rehearse the procedure in advance. Walk through the following steps with your teen to prepare them for getting stopped by an officer.
    • Keep all current registration and insurance cards in an easy to find place. A brightly colored envelope or pouch in the glove box works well.
    • Keep hands on the wheel, stay calm. When a police officer pulls over a vehicle and sees people moving around, shuffling in their seats, or fidgeting inside the car, officers are trained to suspect the worse: weapons, drugs, or illegal materials in the car, and your teen will not like the officer’s reaction. Wait for the officer to approach the car, and when the officer asks for license, insurance, and registration, tell the officer “I’m going to open the glovebox for the documents” before doing so.
    • Be polite, give brief answers, and only speak when spoken to. Most teens have difficulty acknowledging their mistakes, and arguing with a police officer over an “unfair” ticket is not the best way to get off with a verbal warning.
    • Apologize, and say “please” and “thank you.” In most cases, an officer has discretion to give a driver a ticket, written warning, or verbal warning. A simple apology and common courtesies can go a long way towards keeping your teen driver’s record clean.
  • What to Do in Case of an Accident
    • Pull off the roadway, turn on hazard lights. Get to a safe spot on the side of the road or in a parking lot before exiting the vehicle. Never stop in the middle of the road or intersection.
    • Call 911 or the local police department, even if it is a minor accident. Having a police report on what actually happened will be invaluable to document the case later on, even for a minor fender bender.
    • Exchange information. The name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate, vehicle year/make/model for all drivers involved in the accident, including any witnesses or passengers. For the other driver, also get their insurance company, policy number, and claims phone number, which can be found on their auto insurance card.
    • Don’t make any admissions of fault. Accidents can be traumatic and unsettling, so you can’t be sure what happened immediately after the fact. Leave it up to the police, witnesses, and insurers to say who had the right of way and who was at fault.
    • Take pictures of everything at the scene of the accident. All involved vehicles, license plates, the whole road or intersection, a wide angle shot showing the whole scene, as well as close-ups of the damage to vehicles.
    • Get statements from witnesses. Written down, recorded on video or audio, and keep track of the witnesses’ names and phone numbers. They can be called on later for official statements if needed for a legal dispute.
    • After everything has calmed down and everyone has gone home, decide whether to file a claim, and whether to call your insurer. See if you can work with the other involved drivers to handle it off insurance to keep your teen driver’s rates low. Be sure to document all damage, repairs, and expenses in case you need to open up a claim should the cost of repairs skyrocket. Most insurers will still handle a claim even if you’ve taken some steps towards managing it yourself, so long as they can investigate and keep track of everything.
  • Underage Drinking and Driving
    • A serious risk: According to the CDC, in 2010, 22% of drivers aged 15 to 20 involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes were under the influence of alcohol. While many parents may want to believe their children would never drink and drive, the CDC further reports that “In a national survey conducted in 2011, 24% of teens reported that, within the previous month, they had ridden with a driver who had been drinking alcohol and 8% reported having driven after drinking alcohol within the same one-month period.”
    • Guilt by association. In many states, if a teen driver is transporting an underage passenger who has been drinking, both the passenger and driver can be ticketed for underage drinking, even if the driver is completely sober. Check your state’s regulations and contact your local DMV for more information on what rules apply.
    • Have a serious talk with your teen. Make sure they know that they can call you to get a ride if their friends have been drinking, and that they should never ride with an intoxicated friend or get behind the wheel with alcohol in their system.

Teens and Car Insurance

Teen drivers account for some of the highest premiums among all drivers, and while the statistics indicate that teens do pose a higher risk than older drivers, there are a handful of steps you can take to keep your family’s premiums low.

  • Ways to Save Money on Car Insurance for Teen Drivers
    • “Good student” discounts. Your insurer may offer discounts for good report cards, typically A’s and B’s or a GPA above 3.5. Quite simply, studious drivers are seen as more responsible and lower-risk drivers than those with poor grades.
    • Keep your teen driver on the family policy. This will offer your teen lower rates than if they buy their own auto insurance policy.
    • Remove them as a driver from certain vehicles. If your teen will be limited to driving the family minivan, have them removed from driving the family’s other vehicles. This will cause them to be uninsured in the event they get behind the wheel of another family car, so keep in mind which car they’re allowed to take out on Saturday night.
    • Driving safety courses. Many insurers offer discounts to teen drivers who complete a driver safety course. Ask your insurer what options are available.
    • Dashboard cameras and tracking devices. Many insurers offer discounts to families who install “black box” recording devices, GPS trackers, and dash-mounted cameras in their teen’s cars.
    • Choose your teen’s car carefully. Certain car models offer varying safety ratings, have higher or lower cost of repairs, and subsequently cost more or less to insure, even among similar models from different manufacturers. Research rate quotes for various different models before settling on a car for your teen driver.

Never Stop Teaching & Learning

Whether your teen driver is just getting their permit, or is ready to head off to college, take some time to review your teen’s driving habits, safety practices, and accident preparedness. By checking with your insurer about possible discounts and driver education courses, you may be able to both improve your teen’s driving safety and lower your car insurance rates at the same time.

Thank you, www.simpledollar.com, for sharing the above article with us! As a reminder and addition to all of the tips in the guid above, please do not text and drive! To see the full article directly on the simpledollar website, visit: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/carinsurance/teen-drivers/

Tags: texting thumb bands, teens texting and driving, teen texting and driving accident, texting while driving, texting and driving awareness, texting and driving laws

Texting And Driving Kills More Teens Than Drinking And Driving

Posted by Robert Edgin on Wed, May 15, 2013 @ 11:39 PM

By now, you've probably been hearing about the deadly consequences of texting and driving texting and driving for at least a year or two. Stories of accidents, near accidents, injuries and deaths are in the headlines almost daily. Police are issuing tickets, cell phone companies are running commercials, and yet a new study shows that texting and driving is now the number one killer of teens, surpassing drinking and driving and killing more than 3,000 teens per year. Here's the story as reported by CBS:

"Texting while driving has now surpassed drinking and driving as the leading cause of death among teens, according to a new study.

More than 3,000 teens die annually from texting while driving, compared to about 2,700 for driving under the influence of alcohol, according to a study by Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park.

Despite a national ad campaign and a national dialogue on the dangers, the study reveals stunning new numbers: 50 percent of students text while driving and half of high school kids who drive said they text behind the wheel, CBS 2′s Carolyn Gusoff reported.

“The reality is kids aren’t drinking seven days per week — they are carrying their phones and texting seven days per week, so you intuitively know this a more common occurrence,” Dr. Andrew Adesman, Chief Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Cohen Children’s Medical Center told Gusoff.

Adesman, the chief author of the study, found that laws against texting while driving are not effective. Fifty-seven percent of boys said they text while driving in states with texting laws, and 59 percent said they text while driving in states that don’t have texting laws, according to the study.

Many are not surprised by the results.

“People are texting and driving all the time,” one man told WCBS 880′s Mike Xirinachs. “I don’t know the exact way to do it, but something’s gotta be done.”

“Every single day I see it,” one driver said. “People driving along, texting, talking on their phone. They’re not supposed to do it, but they do it — kids, grown-ups, everybody does it.”

“I’ve seen it firsthand, it does cause accidents, it’s dangerous and it’s irresponsible,” a former police officer told 1010 WINS’ John Montone. “A vehicle is a weapon, just as a gun or a knife, and you can kill people. You don’t deserve to have a driver’s license and that level of responsibility where you can kill people if you’re not willing to take precautions, such as not texting and driving.”

Statistics show that if you are communicating by text while driving a vehicle, you are 23 times more likely to crash.

Some schools have been taking measures to make sure its students stay safe. Students at the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury and Freeport High School participated in driving simulations demonstrating the dangers of texting behind the wheel. Teachers are also taking matters into their own hands by sending their students a strong message about the deadly consequences of texting while driving.

Manhattan schoolteacher Julius Khan said he tells his students to “think about your mother and father crying over your grave or someone’s else grave that you’re responsible for killing.”

“Pay attention to what you’re doing because the life you save could be your own,” Khan added.

Lawmakers have also been pushing for tougher distracted driving laws.

In March, Long Island State Senator Charles Fuschillo proposed harsher penalties for distracted drivers, including increased fines for talking or texting on a cellphone and stricter measures for repeat offenders.

“It goes up to $400 but all the penalties in the world aren’t going to stop someone from being irresponsible,” Fuschillo said.

One possible solution is more widespread use of phone apps that restrict texts and calls from coming in when it detects the phone is in a moving car, Adesman said."

For the original story, visit: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/05/09/study-texting-and-driving-kills-more-teens-annually-than-drinking-and-driving/

Tags: don't text and drive, texting and driving statistics, texting thumb bands, teens texting and driving, teen texting and driving accident, texting while driving

A Conversation With The Huffington Post About Texting While Driving

Posted by Robert Edgin on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 @ 12:33 PM

We were fortunate to be invited by the Huffington Post to participate in a live conversation about teen driving and whether the driving age should be raised from 16 to 18 in the US. Our opinion is NOT that the driving age should be raised, but that there should be more parental and school involvement to promote text free driving and distraction free driving among teen drivers.

The truth is that ALL ages should focus more on text free driving, but the show was focused on teen drivers. We were one of 4 panelists involved in the conversation. Take a look and let us know what you think, do you think teen drivers should have to wait until age 18 to get an unrestricted license?

Here is a link to the Huffington Post interview. (it seems as though you have to mute the live feed in the top left corner or it plays at the same time as the interview):

http://live.huffingtonpost.com/#r/segment/teen-drivers-automobile-accidents-death/512a6a6002a7602846000793

Tags: texting and driving accidents, texting thumb bands, teens texting and driving, teen texting and driving accident, texting and driving bans

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

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

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

Texting and Driving Hits Primetime Television

Posted by Robert Edgin on Wed, Feb 22, 2012 @ 11:07 AM

Glee TV ShowThe Glee season finale ended with a texting and driving cliffhanger that showed the serious consequences of texting and driving. I applaud Glee and Fox TV for bringing such an important issue to prime time television and am very hopeful that millions of teens across North America will get the message that texting and driving don't mix.

Seeing a character that you've known and followed for years get involved in a serious accident can be very emotional and disturbing. The fact that Glee chose to have Quinn's accident caused by texting and driving shows how much of a national problem texting and driving has become.

The cast and crew of Glee have an opportunity to open next season with a serious conversation about texting and driving and I have high hopes that they'll do just that. Drivers (especially teen drivers) need repeated reminders that texting can - and does - kill people every day. Teens often fall into the false belief that a texting and driving accident could never happen to them because they are excellent texters, but the Glee episode showed the reality of texting and driving. Every text you send takes your eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds, which was just long enough for Quinn to end up in a potentially deadly accident.

Quinn tried to avoid her buzzing phone but ultimately gave into the temptation of picking it up and reading and then responding to her text messages. This is the same temptation that most teens face every day. The best way to make sure you don't text and drive is to put your phone away, out of reach, until you get to your next stop. There is no message and no news that can't wait 5-10 minutes for you to respond.

What will happen to Quinn during the next season? Did she survive the crash? Only Glee knows the answers at this point, the rest of us will just have to stay tuned to see.

Tags: don't text and drive, teens texting and driving, teen texting and driving accident