Stop Teens From Texting and Driving: There’s An App For That

1131636_no_cells.jpg

A major manufacturer/developer/distributor of smartphones has now developed a free smartphone app to help teens decrease and/or completely stop texting while operating a motor vehicle. On September 19, 2012, AT&T celebrated national “No text on Board Pledge Day” at a local high school in Atlanta that was attended to by an impressive gathering of law enforcement officers, state and city government officials, private sector leaders and teenagers.

In essence, the event promoted abstinence of texting while driving and reinforcing the notion that a text can wait. The event also included a simulator that allowed teenagers to get behind the wheel and experience the hazard of texting while operating a motor vehicle. As the simulator demonstrated, it is virtually impossible to do both at the same time and expect safe results. The students wore virtual reality goggles, sat in a stationary car and were required to text, steer and/or brake – pretty much at the same time. Considering that more than 100,000 car crashes occur each year due to texting and driving (source: the National Safety Council), this is welcome news.

The number one method of communication between and amongst teens is texting via a smartphone. The article estimates that today’s teenagers (persons between the ages of 12 and 17 years old) text 60 times a day on average. This average is up from 50 times a day in 2009. The time spent in receipt or composing a text while operating a vehicle is an average of 4.6 seconds. Depending on the speed that the texter is driving, the feet per second traveled varies. For example, if the teenager is driving at 70 mph, the maximum speed allowed on most state highways, the teen has travel approximately 102.667 feet per second for a grand total of 472.2682 feet over 4.6 seconds which is roughly 1.3 x the length of an American football field. That is a lot of ground to cover in such a short period. Of course, the ground covered is essentially in a blind state by the teenager. Cornerbacks covering wide receivers should be so unlucky.

A survey by A&TT reflects that: 75 percent of teens text while driving; 89 percent of teens expect a reply text or e-mail within the time frame of five minutes or less; and 77 percent of teens witness their parents text while the parents are driving an automobile. These are sobering statistics indeed and the fact that the percentage is so high regarding parents’ use of smartphones while operating a motor vehicle is frightening. More so, when you think that teenagers look up to their parents for guidance and leadership. It appears that parents should’ve accompanied their children to this event for a ride in the simulator.

The free smartphone application developed by ATT and referenced herein can be found at #ITCANWAIT on Twitter and Facebook and www.itcanwait .com on the web. The dangers of texting while driving has been covered in my blog on more than one occasion here and here. I routinely take on and work on cases involving collisions and injuries resulting from misuse of smartphone while operating a vehicle. In some instances, I have subpoenaed the cell phone records of negligent motorists from their cell phone providers to prove and verify use of such smartphones at the time of the wreck in lawsuits.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligent use of an driver texting or receiving a text while operating a motor vehicle, then please contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help navigate you through the legal maze to help you recover for your injuries. Obtaining proprietary and confidential information from large smart phone providers (such as ATT, Verizon and others) takes an aggressive attorney who will fight for your rights and your claim for monetary compensation for injuries and pain and suffering.

The Law Offices of Kevin C. Ford is currently accepting car collision cases throughout Georgia. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of the negligence of a negligent driver who was improperly using a cell phone just prior to or at the time of the car accident, then please contact us today for a free consultation and evaluation of your case. CALL TODAY TO SECURE YOUR RIGHTS.