Hello, my name is Thembi Ford and I text and drive. I know it’s wrong and I try not to do it but when I’m stuck in traffic and I get a split second to skip past a song I don’t want to hear on my iPhone (which doubles as my iPod), my thumb usually wanders to my e-mail inbox, then to some news app, then to finally return that overdue text to a friend that I forgot to send before I left the house. Before I know it I’m dividing my time between driving and using my phone. I know I have a problem, and studies say I’m not the only one.
The Associated Press reports that texting while driving is up 50%, even as more states are enacting laws to prevent people from doing so. Studies show that 20% of adults are willing to admit that they have sent text messages while driving, and I focus on the word “admit” here because using your phone while on the road is one of the stupidest and most dangerous things you can do.
There were an estimated 3,092 deaths in crashes at least partially caused by “distractions” in 2010, and experts think that a sizable portion of that number comes from the lure of our smartphones taking our focus off of the road. In response, thirty-five states have imposed penalties on anyone caught texting and driving, and have initiated public awareness campaigns about the dangers of letting technology distract you from getting where you need to go.
What about you? Do you catch yourself texting while driving? If you avoid it, how?