Stop Texting and Driving: The Part That You Play

Stop Texting and Driving: The Part That You Play

speed-blur-1478751Texting and driving is a type of distracted driving, which has led to far too many injuries and even fatalities throughout the country.  There has long been efforts inside St. Petersburg and across the entire nation to stop the habit of texting and driving.  However, for these campaigns to be truly successful, the change must happen one person at a time.  You can start today.

Ignore It! Although your phone may be dinging like crazy with new texts coming through, they can all wait until you are safely parked.  If the temptation is simply too much to ignore, then pull off the road to a safe location and have a peek.  As long as you are parked in an area that has taken you out of the path of moving traffic, you can have a full conversation.  At the end of that, however, let people know that you will be driving and unable to answer texts until you have arrived at your destination.

Pay Others Respect. You know what it is like to have to ignore numerous phone chimes as you traverse the Saint Petersburg highways, so please be respectful to others.  When you know someone is on the road, don’t text.  Wait for the individual to be safely off the roads, and then ask your question or make the important comment.

Be An Example Setter. Long before kids learn how to drive, they start to pay attention to the actions of the drivers transporting them from one location to another.  They are watching and they are learning from everything that you do.  If you are texting while driving, you are, essentially, making it okay for them to do the same someday.  This becomes even more essential as a teen approaches the licensing age.  After all, you really want to ensure the safety of your child.  Texting while driving can be deadly.  Even if your teen is lucky enough to walk away, he or she could face a personal injury attorney in court, if his or her texting and driving caused the accident.

Don’t Break Your Focus. It is not just texting that can disrupt one’s focus.  Be sure that you are devoting yourself to the act of driving.  Texting is often pointed to as the problem, but there are certainly other phone functions which are just as dangerous.  In many states, it is illegal to talk on the phone while driving for this reason.  However, also avoid using social media, email, and other such apps while operating your vehicle.  It can all wait until you are parked.  Remember, the question of your friend or family member is never going to be answered if you are killed as a result of distracted driving.

Take a Stance. Even as the passenger, you do have some control over the decisions made by the driver.  If the person transporting you has received a text message and looks inclined to answer it, offer your services.  If the person doesn’t feel comfortable having you read the text aloud, then you could simply offer to respond, without reading, that the driver is occupied and will respond when you have arrived at the intended destination.  If that offer is also denied, then you may just have to ask that the driver ignore the text or pull over before answering.  Be firm, even if it makes you uncomfortable, because your life is on the line as well.

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