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Texting and Driving

Teens are by nature impulsive risk takers. Males are generally more impulsive than females. When learning how to drive teens can be easily distracted by passengers, texting, conversation, and a cell phone ringing. A teen using their cell phone to talk or text is a disaster waiting to happen and takes attention off the road. This is called distracted driving. Distracted teen drivers pose a danger to anyone on the road and last year the UK made a real-life video showing the VERY real dangers of Texting while Driving.

The enactment is portrayed in a real life like scenario that is extremely graphic and disturbing. Texting while Driving has quickly became a well-known and effective public service announcement or PSA that shows the consequences of what can happen when teens drive with friends or are distracted by texting. In the end four people die as a result of a chain reaction accident caused by the careless texting of a driving teenager.

Some people feel the video is too real or too graphic. As an RN, and previous EMS worker married to a man who is a retired Boston EMS worker and firefighter, the video is very realistic. My husband and I have experienced many horrible accident scenes involving people of all ages. We both wish every teenager had to view this video, in fact everyone who has ever used a cell phone while driving should see the video.

What I do not understand is the fact people feel entitled to talk on a cell phone and or text while driving. The stats show many people who die in a car accident were receiving a call just prior to the accident. It is unknown how many were trying to dial out or reaching to answer a call when they had an accident. Although in many places it is still legal to talk on a cell phone while driving, which makes it difficult for law enforcement officials to enforce a distracted driving law.

After viewing the video parents must decide if they should allow their teenagers who drive or are getting ready to drive watch the video. I showed it to my 15 and ˝ year old daughter who is currently in driver’s education. She proclaimed she would have nightmares if I continued to show it to her after the first 30 seconds, I said I already have nightmares and she watched the rest of the video. However, I did explain to her that it was an enactment. I also told her it was very graphic, and realistic.

The second time we watched the movie without the sound on and we were able to discuss how the accident happened. How one tends to pull the steering wheel in the direction he or she is leaning. How looking down at the radio, lighting a cigarette, and reaching for or using a cell phone is all it takes to cause a similar accident. A few precious seconds can change someone’s life forever…

I hope parents will stop saying it is too graphic, as accidents are the number one cause of death for children and teens from 1 to 20. The people who say this video is too graphic probably never check out how realistic their child’s video games are and until people realize there is rarely a reason for anyone to be on a cell phone talking or texting while driving, we will continue to have many unnecessary and preventable accidents, injuries and deaths on our roads. So, hang up and drive, as no one is so important that he or she has to talk or text on their cell while driving. Remember the life you save might be your own, or your child’s.

To view the video, do a search online by typing in the words Texting While Driving PSA.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Erika Lyn Smith. All rights reserved.
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