As texting-while-driving accident numbers keep rising, more and more things are being done to curb the use of phones while behind the wheel. Singer and actress Demi Lovato recently took the “It Can Wait” pledge as part of ItCanWait.com, a site devoted to stopping texts on the road through useful apps and personal testimonies. “No text is worth the risk,” Demi says.
There’s also a new app for Android through AT&T called DriveMode, in which drivers can set up an auto-message that gets sent instead of them attempting to text, email, or call back. Sort of like an “away message” for the road. The app can be based on how fast you’re going, so that when you slow to 25 miles per hour or less, it shuts itself off. It can also disable web browsing and alert sounds.
77% of young adults say that they are confident that they can safely text while driving. This is a downright crazy and sad statistic, because texting while driving—no matter how many times you’ve probably gotten away with it—has proven to be deadly. In 2011, texting while driving was responsible for 1.3 million crashes in the US. You’re 23 times more likely to get into an accident if you’re texting and driving at the same time, and it can also set you up for other risky behaviors, like not wearing a seat belt, or putting on makeup while driving.
With all the disturbing statistics, why do so many people still text behind the wheel? The excuses are plenty: “I just read, I don’t text back!” “I hold it near the windshield, so I can see fine!” “Everyone does it.” “I just give myself more following distance!” “I only text at stoplights.” These excuses won’t hold up for long. Realize that no matter how tempting it is to pick up your phone, those few extra seconds can mean the difference between life and death. No text is worth it!