Don't Text and Drive Blog

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

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

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

Infographic For Texting And Driving

Posted by Robert Edgin on Sun, Sep 16, 2012 @ 06:02 PM

 

We came across a great infographic that demonstrates the statistics of texting and driving along with the dangers it represents. Thanks to onlineschools for creating it!

 

DWI: Driving While Intexticated

Tags: texting and driving accidents, texting and driving statistics, texting thumb bands, teens texting and driving, texting and driving bans, texting while driving, texting and driving awareness, texting and driving laws

It's not just the USA that's facing texting and driving problems

Posted by Robert Edgin on Wed, Jun 06, 2012 @ 08:15 PM

We recently received an article from the UK with a very familiar message, texting and driving causes accidents, injuries and deaths. We concentrate all of our efforts in North America, but it does not surprise me that texting and driving is making headlines all around the world. Here is the UK article:

Are Penalties for On-Road Mobile Phone Usage Tough Enough in the UK?

The issue of texting while driving - or accessing your mobile phone while driving - is not only a big issue in the US and Canada, but also on the other side of the Atlantic, too.

The RAC's April 2012 survey of driving attitudes has revealed that many UK road users do not believe that the penalties in place for using a mobile phone whilst driving are tough enough, or that the current penalties are significant enough to prevent drivers flouting the rule.

At the same time, thousands of drivers polled admitted that they themselves were guilty of texting, calling, accessing social media, reading emails and visiting websites - all whilst behind the wheel. Yet only 124,700 drivers were served with a fixed penalty notice for flouting the law in 2011.

With so many people casually and perhaps even unconsciously breaking the law, how can we make the roads a safer place by reducing the number of us driving without due care and attention?  Let's take a look at the statistics first...

42% of respondents would like to see a driving ban in place for those convicted for offences relating to mobile phone usage whilst driving. Meanwhile 53% stated that they were in support of fines and the penalty of points on your licence if you break the law in this way. A paltry 4% stated that they believed there should be no punishment for using a mobile on the road.

Yet an average of 21% of drivers admitted to holding their phone either whilst stationary in jams or whilst actively driving, despite Department of Transport figures which show that 90% of us know that it is not safe to talk on a hand held mobile whilst behind the wheel. This suggests that there is a significant amount of hypocrisy at work out there! We all know that when we use phones in the car our attention to the road is jeopardised, yet somehow believe we are the exception to the rule.

A 2011 British Social Attitudes survey by the Department for Transport showed that 71% of those polled believed that the law wasn't being enforced vigorously enough.

So how can the government take action to crack down on mobile phone usage on the UK's roads? The answer must surely be either tougher penalties or a higher rate of conviction and punishment. The latter solution would involve a greater and more visible police presence on our roads which, during a period of austerity and budget cuts, does not seem particularly feasible.

Tougher penalties for those that do break the law, on the other hand, would serve as cautionary tales for other would-be motoring phone users. Simultaneously, steeper fines would put some much needed cash back into the budget. Meanwhile, cutting down on road accidents by dissuading motorists from using mobiles whilst driving, would greatly lower the number of RTA (road traffic accident) and whiplash claims made every year.

With the UK now known as the 'whiplash capital of Europe' and the 'whiplash epidemic' adding an average of £90 (c. $140) to every insurance policy, a tougher approach to mobile phone usage could make driving far cheaper and far safer for Britain's motorists.

Guest blog post by Howells Whiplash Solicitors.

Tags: texting and driving accidents, texting thumb bands, texting and driving bans, texting while driving, texting and driving laws

Apps That Prevent Texting And Driving - Which One Is Right For You?

Posted by Robert Edgin on Sun, Mar 25, 2012 @ 07:48 PM

There are more and more apps coming to the market to help prevent texting and driving, monitor teen texting and driving or make texting and driving safer (although everyone knows that is NOT really possible). With all of the options out there, how do you know which one to use, and which one to encourage your teen driver to use?

Ideally, you want an app that is free, will prevent text messages from being received or sent while driving AND an app that will actually be used (happily) by a teen driver on a regular basis. We've found an app that fits perfectly and are very happy to be teaming up with Text No More (www.textnomore.com) and their amazing text no more app.

Text No More is completely free, prevents texts from being sent or received while driving AND keeps teens (and all drivers) using it by offering a great reward every time you drive text Text No Morefree!

Everyone loves a reward, and Text No More is making it very rewarding to do the right thing and be text free every time you get behind the wheel. The rewards are specific to each driver's location and includes great deals and offers from restaurants, coffee shops, local retailers and much more. Plus, every time a driver is using the Text No More app and they receive a text, the sender receives an automated message to let them know their text will be received as soon as the driver reaches their destination.

At texting thumb bands, we do a lot to get the conversation started about texting and driving. We do a lot to promote text free driving and help schools, sheriff's departments, companies and communities reward people for deciding to be a text free driver. Unfortunately, we have not had a good way to make sure that drivers follow through and stay text free - until now.

Our new partnership with Text No More allows us to help start the conversation about texting and driving and reward people for making the decision to be a text free driver (with a texting thumb band) AND provide a way for drivers to follow through and be rewarded every time they choose to be text free while behind the wheel. It's a great partnership and together we're going to make a real difference in 2012.

You can make a difference too, go to www.textnomore.com and download the free app today.

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

Texting Accidents Can Land You In Jail, Even If You're Not At Fault

Posted by Robert Edgin on Sat, Jul 02, 2011 @ 10:12 AM

This is a true story:

It's a beautiful afternoon as you're driving down the road on the way to a school activity. You're approaching an intersection. The light is green, you scan the other lanes for cars but it's a quiet day and there are no other cars in sight. You see a pedestrian standing on the sidewalk about 100 yards in front of you but pay him no attention because he's off the road, just standing there minding his own business.

You cross through the intersection, excited to get to the school and see your girlfriend. What happens next is somewhat of a blur, but somehow the pedestrian on the side of the road has ended up in front of you. You're not speeding but you have not time to stop. Before you know it the pedestrian is on the hood of your car, then hitting the windshield, then being thrown over the back of the car before landing behind you.

The pedestrian is dead. Someone runs out of a store to ask if you're okay and lets you know they saw the whole thing. "That guy stepped out right in fornt of you...almost like they did it on purpose" they say. You're in shock, unable to comprehend what had just happened. You know you weren't speeding and were driving very cautiously, but someone is dead.

The police and paramedics arrive and begin to check you for injuries and do their best to help the pedestrian before pronouncing his time of death. Thankfully the witness has stayed by your side, proclaiming your innocence to the police as they take her statement. "I saw him walking towards the street looking as if he was going to jump in front of the car" she explanis. As the police take your statement they ask why you did not see the man walking towards the street before he jumped in front of you, but you don't have an answer. You just didn't see him.

A few days later the police knock at your door to let you know ttexting and driving is dangeroushey pulled your phone records from the day of the accident. "You did not see the pedestrian because you were texting and driving at the time of the accident" they tell you. "We know you were texting back and forth with your girlfriend. We have the phone logs and we've already confiscated her phone and confirmed that you were engaged in a conversation while you were driving."

It's true, you were texting. There was no one else around, the light was green, you were going the speed limit and driving safely in your lane. You only looked down for a second and then you heard a loud noise, looked up and saw the pedestrian already on the hood of your car. He came out of nowhere, you just didn't see him!

And that's exactly why the police investigated your phone records. There were no skid marks until after the collision. You didn't even try to slow down because you were not looking at the road, you were looking at your phone. Now you find out that the district attorney is looking into the evidence, considering pressing charges for vehicular homicide.

Over the next few months, you grow to hate your girlfriend because she's being forced to testify against you in the upcoming trial. You know she's been instructed not to speak to you about the case or she could face trouble of her own but you don't care, you don't ever want to speak to her again. You're parents have already spent thousands of dollard on attorney's fees and you haven't even gone to trial yet. You haven't driven in months because the courts suspended your license pending the verdict of the trial. You're facing years behind bars for vehicular homicide even though you've got a witness claiming the pedestrian jumped in front of your car on purpose.

Your life has changed forever. Your senior year of school has ended and graduation has come and gone and what was supposed to be the best few months of your life has become the worst, all because you were texting and driving.

The above story is true and the boy driving is currently waiting to stand trial. The boy lives in a state where texting and driving is illegal and state officials are cracking down on texting and driving accidents, especially those involving fatalities. Even though it appears that the pedestrian intentionally jumped in front of the car, the driver had no chance to react because he wasn't looking at the road.

Texting and driving takes your eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds at a time. Truthfully, chances are that if the driver above was looking at the road instead of his phone the pedestrian would still be dead. If he really did jump in front of the car there was not much the driver could have done about it. But unfortunately the driver didn't see it happen. He never even tried to stop because he wasn't looking at the road.

Texting and driving is illegal for a reason and brings serious consequences to those who break the law and text while driving. Don't make the same mistake as the driver above, no text is worth it.

Tags: no texting while driving, texting and driving accidents, texting and driving statistics, texting and driving bans, texting while driving

New Texting and Driving Laws Have Increased Texting Accidents

Posted by Robert Edgin on Sat, Jun 04, 2011 @ 11:02 AM

It doesn't make sense. The numbers seem to be backwards but it really is true. State laws banning texting and driving are actually increasing the number of texting related accidents!

no texting while driving resized 600

By now, everyone should know how dangerous it is to text while driving. States have certainly figured it out and most have passed laws to make it illegal to text while driving. So why is it that the number of accidents is on the rise?

There are two major factors in the increased accidents, but first let's look at the findings from the Highway Loss Data Institute:

*"HLDI researchers calculated rates of collision claims for vehicles up to 9 years old during the months immediately before and after driver texting was banned in California (January 2009), Louisiana (July 2008), Minnesota (August 2008), and Washington (January 2008). Comparable data were collected in nearby states where texting laws weren't substantially changed during the time span of the study. This controlled for possible changes in collision claim rates unrelated to the bans — changes in the number of miles driven due to the economy, seasonal changes in driving patterns, etc.

"Texting bans haven't reduced crashes at all. In a perverse twist, crashes increased in 3 of the 4 states we studied after bans were enacted. It's an indication that texting bans might even increase the risk of texting for drivers who continue to do so despite the laws," says Adrian Lund, president of both HLDI and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Month-to-month fluctuations in the rates of collision claims in HLDI's 4 study states with texting bans for all drivers didn't change much from before to after the bans were enacted. Nor did the patterns differ much from those in nearby states that didn't ban texting for all drivers during the study period. To the extent that the crash patterns did change in the study states, they went up, not down, after the bans took effect. Increases varied from 1 percent more crashes in Washington to about 9 percent more in Minnesota (the result in Washington isn't statistically significant).

  Young mottexting and driving safety blogorists are more likely than older people to text while driving. In all 4 of the study states, crashes increased among drivers younger than 25 after the all-driver bans took effect. In California, Louisiana, and Washington, the increases for young drivers were greater than for drivers 25 and older. The largest crash increase of all (12 percent) following enactment of a texting ban was among young drivers in California."

Two Major Factors Increasing Accidents:

  1. Texting is on the rise! The number of people texting, and texting while driving, has risen tremendously over the past few years. Texting has become the preferred method of communication for most Americans and the number of texts sent per month numbers in the trillions! Too many drivers view giving up texting while driving as giving up their main source of keeping in touch and communicating with friends and family so they ignore the no texting laws.
  2. Phones are hidden to avoid fines! In states that have banned texting while driving, people are keeping their phones out of site to avoid being ticketed and fined. They are NOT texting less, they are just keeping their phones low (below the steering wheel or on their lap) so it is not seen by others. This makes texting and driving that much more dangerous because the drivers' eyes are off the road for an even longer amount of time!

While state bans are a good start to slowing (and eventually stopping) the number of texting related accidents, what is truly needed is a change in behavior. Laws and bans are designed to encourage the right behavior but drivers' attitude and behavior has not changed yet.

Until drivers put away their phones when they get into their cars and make the committment to be text free while driving, texting and driving accidents, injuries and deaths will continue to rise.

*Data from: http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr092810.html

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