DWI - Driving while Intexticated
A 22-year old university student, driving and texting “Seeya soon, ill tw…” met his death in an accident, leaving the unfinished words as his last. Alexander Heit’s parents decided to publicise the tragedy, in the hope that other parents would not have to go through the suffering and loss they are going through now.
Texting While Driving
The police chief overseeing Alexander’s case, Jerry Garner says, “Unfortunately, when we think to ourselves, 'I'll just do it this one time,’ we are fooling ourselves.” That once is enough to end life.
Though there are no definite statistics on texting and driving accidents in Malaysia, America has some pretty scary ones. Here are these eye-and-mind-opening American texting and driving statistics
~ 23% of driving collisions in 2011 involved mobile phones –> 1.3 million crashes.
~ 5 seconds is the average time you take to text; at 90 km/h, that’s the length of a football field. It’s driving blind for 5 seconds.
~ Texting and driving makes a crash 23 times more likely. Dialing makes it 2.8 times, talking or listening 1.3 times and reaching for a device, 1.4 times.
~ 13% of drivers aged 18 – 20 involved in car accidents admitted to using their mobile devices at the time of the crash.
~ Texting and driving reduces your reaction time by 37%. This is worse than drunk driving and it only takes a 10% reduction to cause an accident.
~ You are 6 times more likely to be in an accident when texting and driving, than when intoxicated. It is like driving after drinking 4 beers rapidly.
Texting While Driving: Excuses for using mobile gadgets usage while driving
Asking drivers who indulge in texting and driving for justifications as to why they indulge in such dangerous habits, is like talking to alcoholics or drug addicts who justify their habit.
"Reading text messages is safer than sending them."
"It’s okay since I hold the phone near the windscreen for better visibility and I can see the road ahead at the same time."
"I increase the distance between my car and the one in front."
"I only text when I am at a red light or in a traffic jam."
Texting While Driving; Safety tips to stop texting and driving
What can adults and teenagers do to help themselves stop texting and driving? Here are some useful tips:
1. Install a real-time web-cam in the car, which can be accessed by your family members. They can quickly warn you when you are breaking the law.
2. Put your phone as far away as possible in the car. If you cannot reach it, you cannot text it.
3. Download apps that will send an automated response when you put your phone in driving mode. You can call back later.
4. Silence is golden. Turn off notifications. If you cannot hear it, you cannot entertain it.
5. If you are with someone in the car, have that person become the designated texter.
Can you think of any other innovative and effective solutions to this life extinguishing problem? REMEMBER! Not everyone should text and walk. NO ONE should text and drive.
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