October 23, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Teens, Distracted Driving and the Danger of Texting
For a parent, few moments in their child's life are more exciting than when their child drives off alone for the first time. It is exciting, because it marks one more milestone in their becoming an adult. It is also exciting in the sense that there are few times in their life where they will embark on something so dangerous
We have all read the statistics and they are daunting. The leading cause of death for teenagers is motor vehicle crashes
. It is the leading cause of death because teenagers are generally healthy and few other diseases or illnesses are likely to kill them, and because of their youth, they lack experience operating a multi-thousand-pound vehicle in traffic at highway speeds.
Texting: The Elephant in the Room
With their inexperience, they bring the lack of perspective that only a 16-year-old can possess. Among the areas where they lack perspective is how dangerous distracted driving can be, and how stupendously distracting using a cellphone or even worse a smartphone, to send and receive texts or surf the internet, can be.
For their parents, a cellphone and texting are to some extent still an innovation. They remember growing up with only a hardwired, landline as a phone. You had to find a phone booth to make a call when you were away from home.
For teens who may have just received their permit to drive this year, they never have known a world where cell phones are not in every purse and pocket. For them, not having internet access in their pocket seems luddite-like, and for many, texting is as unconscious as breathing.
And therein lays the danger. Some may have received phones five or six years ago and have been happily testing the limits of their texting plan ever since. They have literally been texting as long as they can remember; in some cases, half of their lifetime.
So, when they get into a car, they may not even recognize the transition and understand that they now need to behave differently. They have to turn off the texting impulse with a great deal of intentionality. For that to happen, they will need help. They need to be taught that getting in a car means turning off the phone. Period.
There are some technical solutions, as parents can apply various hardware and software modifications to the phone that will turn it off in a moving vehicle. However, some of the apps can be overridden, and the hardware requires installation and a maintenance fee, which adds to the disincentives for using them.
On the other hand, if you feel your teen may be tempted to use that phone in the car, a monthly charge may be a small price to pay for the peace of mind that you have eliminated at least one distraction from your teen's overtaxed attention span.
Article provided by The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall
Visit us at www.caracccidentlawyersnj.com---
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