Texting and driving is a problem that continues to increase among teens. Teenage drivers are not only texting, but they are also checking their e-mails and surfing the internet while driving. Sadly, every year, there are approximately 330,000 injuries from car accidents. Every day, 11 teens die from texting and driving.
What is the problem?
Texting and driving involve the use of a cellphone while driving a vehicle. This includes sending, receiving, or reading texts. It also incorporates checking e-mail and surfing on the internet. Using the phone in any manner while driving is illegal, and it increases the risk of an accident. Texting is a distraction to the drivers on the road.
Why is it Dangerous?
Texting and driving is serious. Statistics show that drivers who text while driving are more likely to get into an accident. A driver texting is also more likely to cause an accident than a person who is drunk. Texting while driving puts your life and the lives of others in danger. Even in a short time, driving without being attentive can be disastrous.
If you are learning how to drive, you are held accountable for what you do the moment you start your car. The driver is responsible for being in control of the vehicle at all times. The driver is also required to obey traffic laws and drive safely. Texting and driving is irresponsible and it breaks the law.
What are the penalties?
In Canada, there are restrictions against texting and driving. Drivers are not permitted to hold cellphones or other hand-held devices while driving. There are fines from $300 to $1,000, plus three demerit points. Novice drivers or G1 license holders can have their license suspended for 30-90 days. After your third conviction, your license will be revoked and you will be removed from the licensing system. You would then have to redo the licensing program in order for your license to be reinstated.
How to Avoid Texting and Driving
You are in control of the choices and decisions you make. You must make the personal decision to be a safe driver. If this is a challenge for you, here are a few tips that can help drivers reduce the temptation to text while driving:
- Turn off your cell phone or put it in silent mode.
- Keep your phone out of reach in the car.
- Lock your phone in the glove compartment
- Give your phone to a passenger in the car so that they can respond to a text or make a call for you.
- Send or leave a voice message to callers that you are driving and not to call.
- Put notification sounds on silent.
There are also apps that you can put on your phone to keep yourself from texting and driving. These hands-free apps have a variety of services that can block calls or read texts and e-mails out loud. Additionally, many car systems give drivers the option to connect and operate phones using only voice commands. Since there are a plethora of safe alternatives to texting and driving, drivers can keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.