5 WAYS TO PREVENT TEXTING WHILE DRIVING 

Every year, there are over 300 thousand texting-while-driving related accidents across the United States. That is more than half of all the distracted driving accidents combined. These accidents can be as small as a fender bender to very devastating, even fatal, crashes. In Houston, the number of distracted driving-related accidents are staggering.

1. TURN OFF THE TEMPTATION

One of the most common, logical ways to avoid texting and driving is not to do it. For some reason, however, a lot of people find this one of the most challenging struggles of their lives, so there are a couple of other things you can do to help you practice self-restraint. Start by turning off your phone or putting your phone on silent when you get in the car. It is important to turn off vibrate and light sensors as well to makes sure that you don’t receive any alerts. A lot of people who don’t like this (because of the constant turning on and off their phone) may also consider keeping the phone out of reach, such as in a glove compartment, under a back seat, or even in the trunk, as many parents require of their teenage children. Removing the temptation completely is going to be the most effective way of avoiding text-related accidents.

2. UTILIZE APPS

If avoiding the temptation is not really your style, you can prevent temptations from happening altogether by utilizing your phone’s technology. There are several apps, many of which are free, that can help drivers block texts or calls while they are driving. Many of these apps will use GPS tracking and lock the phone anytime the vehicle is traveling at a certain speed, and they can include password protection to ensure your teenager won’t be able to tamper with the settings. Parents can also get apps that track driving habits, both for themselves and their children, and other apps will block calls and texts but send out immediate response texts if a car is in motion. Imagine if everyone were utilizing these technological practices for safe driving. Distracting text and calling accidents would dramatically go down across the states.

3. FIND OTHER WAYS TO TEXT

The previously mentioned apps may not be the style of some adults who struggle with texting and driving, but there are other ways they can figure out how to text if they are driving. Bluetooth voice activation is becoming more and more common in cars and there are also apps that immediate read texts as you receive them, eliminating the need to ever take your eyes off the road. These are safer alternatives, though studies have still shown that the conversation itself can be just as distracting as using a mobile device while driving. The best alternative is simply to pull over. If it isn’t worth your time to text and receive an answer, on the side of the road, it is probably not something worth your time while driving, either.

4. USE PASSENGERS IN THE CAR

Sometimes, there are still occasions where you may feel like you need to communicate with someone without stopping your vehicle. If there are passengers in the car capable of texting and reading texts, it may be advantageous to utilize them as a mediator. Hand the phone over to them to read texts and send messages if it is that urgent. If there are no other passengers in the car, there really is no other way around it – your only options are to pull over or just ignore the text or call.

5. TAKE A PLEDGE

AT&T took it upon themselves to start the “It Can Wait” initiative where a community of people can sign a pledge to say they will not text and drive. The commitment to safe, hands-free driving is the first step to saying “No!” to texting and driving in your life, maybe making some of these other suggestions to stop texting and driving a little easier to do.