I am taking the pledge for my family!
When texting and driving became a big news story, I came down hard on my 20-something daughters, begging them to promise me they wouldn't use their phones while driving their cars. Then I stopped to really think about this… was I so innocent here? Was my husband? Well, maybe I had checked an email here, sent a text there, looked down to see a missed call once or twice. Then it hit me – how can we tell our kids that they can't use their phones while driving if they see us doing it right in front of them. As intelligent adults we know that this is a dangerous habit, and yet we somehow think we're invincible to the dangers of being distracted while on the road.
A new study done by AT&T was released today by USA Today and it reports that while adults know that texting while driving is unsafe, 49% of us report that we still do it. That is compared to 43% of teens who fess up to the act. What does this mean? It means quite simply that adults are worse offenders than teens! Why does this matter? It matters because our children look up to us,mimic what we do and what we say, and what we portray as right and wrong. If we teach our children that unsafe, possibly fatal behavior to ourselves or others is OK, then we are not doing our job as parents and teachers.
According to the USA Today article, "Each day, an average of more than nine people are killed and more than 1,060 injured in crashes caused by distracted driving, according to the CDC. In 2011, 3,331 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver, up from 3,267 in 2010, according to the Department of Transportation."
Studies show that people who text while driving are 23 times more likely to be in a car crash. That is a startling statistic! So the next time you go to grab your phone while on the road, ask yourself if whatever it is you intend to do: text, email, check your Facebook, is worth potentially getting into a fatal car crash? I dare you to look at your phone right now and check the last text you wrote… was that text worth your or your families life?
I'm taking the pledge, I will not text and drive, which includes emailing, facebooking, tweeting, checking the news, or whatever your vice might be! Come join me on my Facebook page where we can all take the pledge together!