No text is worth losing your life

Cell phone use causes more than 100,000 annual accidents

These days, every time you pull up to a stop light you can look to either side and see someone texting away on their cell phones.

It’s safer to text at a stop light, right? Wrong.

According to studies done in 2011, it has been proven that drivers who text at stop lights are more likely to check a text while driving as well.

In today’s world, texting is the preferred form of communication among teens, but as young adults they have to realize there is no way to safely text and drive, no such thing exists.  Just talking on a cell phone while driving makes you four times more likely to be involved in an accident.

A lot of teens would say it doesn’t hurt to take your eyes off the road for a split second. To read a text message it takes most people an average of about five seconds. That’s five seconds where you’re completely oblivious to your surroundings and not in control of your vehicle.

Do you realize five seconds is long enough to travel the length of a football going 55 mph? Those few seconds mean you are putting yourself and everyone else on the road at risk for a fatal accident.

Distracted driving, on average, kills 11 teenagers everyday according to the Institute for Highway Safety. That is 11 too many and is completely avoidable. Turn your cell phone off and keep your eyes on the road. No text is worth losing your life, or putting others in harm’s way.

Any teen will tell you that texting and driving is a real problem on the roads of America. In a poll taken by AAA, 94 percent of teens considered cell phone distraction a serious threat. But 35 percent have admitted to doing it more than once. What does that tell us? More needs to be done about keeping cell phones out of our hands while in a vehicle.

A great and easy solution to this is turning your cell phone off and placing it into a glove compartment or purse before even putting your keys in the ignition. “Out of sight, out of mind” is a great theory and it works.

There is no right time to be on your cell phone while driving. Even at a stop light you are putting yourself at a much greater risk of an accident.

In the US, there is an average of 1.3 million car accidents each year. Cell phone use is responsible for an estimated 23 percent of those. That is more than 100,000 accidents that could have been prevented by not using a cell phone. That number is too large to ignore, and continues to grow each year.

Distracted driving affects almost every teenager on the road. There are several apps available for free in the Apple and Android stores to keep teens from being distracted while driving.

AT&T offers an app for their users that is called “AT&T DRIVEMODE”, which knows when you are in a moving vehicle. If you receive a text or call, this app automatically sends a text for you letting them know that you are currently behind the wheel and you will respond when it is safe to use your cell phone.

There are many apps similar to this one available to anyone with a smart phone.

There also are several websites with texting and driving simulations to show you firsthand how quick an accident can happen, and how easy it is to be distracted. There are tips and guides for driving and lot’s of useful information for young drivers at

We all see those commercials on TV to play on our emotions about texting and driving, and it’s easy to brush it off and think “That would never happen to me.”

Well, the truth is those things do happen. In fact they happen every single day across the US to teenagers just like you.

Do not become another statistic; do not risk your life behind the wheel just for a text, e-mail, or status update it is never worth it.