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

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

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

A Thank You From Congresswoman Wilson

Posted by Robert Edgin on Wed, Oct 26, 2011 @ 01:38 PM

While in D.C. for the National Organizations of Youth Safety's Distracted Driving Summit, we received a surprise call from the office of Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL.) asking us to stop by her office for a visit! She is working on a new bill limiting federal funding for states that do not pass a texting and driving ban. It's called the "Drive To Stay Alive Act of 2011" and obviously we think it's a great idea!

We were able to share some information and ideas and had a really great time looking around the Capital. Here's the thank you we received from Congresswoman Wilson when we returned home.

thank you from congressThank you for the kind words Congresswoman Wilson and thanks for your hard work to make the roads text free and safer for all of us!

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