Posts Tagged ‘texting while driving’

Texting and Driving: Ask Your Teens to Watch This Video

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Thanks to AT&T for producing this video showing the victims whose lives were changed in a horrible instant, and the next of kin of young people who died, after driving while texting.

Watch it. Then ask your teens and tweens to watch it. Heck, ask your kids’ friends to watch it. We can’t stop spreading the word on the dangers of texting and driving. Too many lives are at risk.

So You HAVE to Yack or Text While Driving? Give Me a Break

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Rant alert! A friend just got rear-ended, this morning, by a guy who was looking down constantly in stop-and-go traffic. She’s pretty sure he was texting.

How can we stop people from doing this stupid thing? What is it going to take?

Actually, I would be totally OK with no cell use at all while driving. (And yes, I know a lot of people disagree with me.) I’ve seen so many drivers involved in heated, excited, animated conversations while on hands-free phones. It’s just not worth the risk. We’ve all heard the stats from AAA and NHTSA about hands-free yacking not being any safer than holding a cell while driving.

It’s not only where your hands are. It’s where your BRAIN is.

The person on the other end of the phone doesn’t know when you’re in a tricky driving situation that requires your full concentration. Someone sitting in the car and talking with you sees the situation and gets it. When my son, Matt, is driving with me, he knows that the time to ask me a question isn’t when I’m trying to merge onto the freeway.

Emergencies? No problem. Use the phone. But yacking with your girlfriend about what she got at Target while you drive to school to pick up the kids? Give me a break. It’s dangerous and it’s just not necessary.

I’ve been trying to not be the person on the other end of the phone when someone is on a cell while driving, too. I’ll admit I haven’t always asked to talk at another time when this happens. I do it sometimes. But not always. But I’m going to do it all the time now. Otherwise I’m being pretty two-faced about this.

I don’t want to be the person you’re talking to when you get in a wreck. I don’t want to be the person your child is talking to when she rolls the family SUV.

We set examples for our kids with everything we do. And we made a family commitment about this. Randy and I never talk on a cell, or text, while driving. (And we’ve managed to lead a pretty normal, happy life while not partaking in this part of the current driving culture, by the way.) Matt has gone thousands of miles with us in the car and has never seen us do it. He’s seen us pull over to make a call. Or ask him to answer a call while in the passenger seat. Or check messages when we get to our destination. But we don’t call and drive.

So when we tell him not to text or talk on his cell when he starts driving (soon - gulp), those won’t be empty words coming from mom and dad.

Texting While Driving: Your Feedback

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Texting on a keyboard phone

Wow. Yesterday's post, which showed a fairly shocking new PSA on teen texting while driving, has created a bit of a splash, with people discussing it on Facebook and Twitter. Many said they were going to show the video to their teens. One woman promised to send it to her texting-crazed sister.

But one woman commented, in a very thoughtful message, that she thought the video was far too graphic for her teens. She said she didn't allow her teens to see R-rated movies and she thought there were better ways to get the point across than to show them a video that was potentially nightmare-causing.

I appreciated her thoughtful comment, and it made me think. I do believe you have to know your individual kid to know how to handle these
decisions. (And boy, they
don't seem to get easier!)

I think a lot of kids hear Mom or Dad
talking about driving safety (or being a safe passenger) and it sounds
like the adults in a Peanuts cartoon: "Wah wah, wah wah wah…" They
see themselves as being talented multitaskers — and Mom and Dad as being
hopelessly out of touch.

For some, it might take the shock of
seeing exactly what can happen in a moment of inattention to really
grab them by the collar and say "PAY ATTENTION!"

So
funny. Yesterday I was complaining about Matt saying I'm the mom who
won't let him see R-rated movies at 13. And today I made sure he saw
this shocking, violent PSA video. I guess I don't put them in the same category.

But I respect this mom's opinion. I think we all know best how to reach our own kids.

What do you think? Is it too graphic to show to your teen? Or is it just the wake-up call some kids need?

P.S. Check out this October 2008 post, "Put Down the Cell Phone: Save a Life — Important Advice for Parents & Teens" on Geneseevalleyparent.com. The post was written by a high school intern at the magazine, Stephanie DeCross. From the post: "…We could reflect on and learn from recent tragedies like the one in
Fairport where texting may have caused a terrible accident which cost
five graduating seniors their lives. Reports noted that moments before
the crash a cell phone was used from within the vehicle to send and
receive messages. The young women involved were in the wrong place at
the wrong time… and possibly preoccupied by this fatal distraction. They
were not, as we are not, invincible."