Have you ever experienced the sensation where you’re driving and realize that you’ve gone from point A to point B and can’t remember anything that happened? You know how you kind of wake up and realize that you don’t remember waiting to go through that gate, or whether or not you caught the light green or red? It doesn’t last for a long time, probably less than 30 seconds.
Everyone has a cell phone now. The increase of their use and prevalence, unfortunately, is evident in the the rising numbers of car accidents caused by distracted driving. Namely texting. Last year alone there were over 11,000 deaths.
Think texting while driving isn’t a big deal?
Perhaps you feel like looking at your phone for three seconds isn’t the end of the world. The problem with that is when you’re cruising down the freeway at 65 mph, you’ll easily cover the length of a football field while driving a 4,000 pound metal battering ram while blindfolded.
The epidemic seems to be most prevalent among teens. This isn’t because teens are unintelligent. Without getting too scientific and technical, the pre-frontal cortex – the part of the brain responsible for decision making, judgement, and risk/reward balancing – doesn’t fully develop until the mid-twenties. This is why teens are more prone to participate in risky behaviors, and why teens are three times more likely to die in a car accident than people twenty and older.
The best way to avoid this epidemic sweeping our streets is to stop. Stop texting, checking Instagram, email – whatever. Talk with your teens about the dangers and help them understand just how serious the problem is.
If you feel the need to go the extra mile as a parent, there are apps available that will block all texts and phone calls while driving.