Texting and driving is a major issue on the roadways of the United States. Yet, for all the posturing and talking points, it doesn’t seem like enough people and companies are doing anything about it. There is action that can be taken without taking your phone or car keys away. While adults text and drive, setting a bad example for their children, a demographic that is heavily at risk for getting into an accident (likely fatal) from texting and driving are teens. Parents, instead of just talking about it, can take action. Companies like Sprint M2M is offering physical ways to actually take action.
As I wrote about here, Sprint M2M offers a OBD2 device which can be acquired through your insurance company. This device is a solid action that parents can take to curb texting and driving. The OBD2 device on the Sprint network can disable texting while the car is in motion. It doesn’t get any more actionable than that. In a time when traffic fatalities among 16 and 17 year-olds jumped up 19% in the first half of 2012 compared to previous years and the CDC reporting that more teens die from texting and driving than drunk driving, you know there is a problem.
While adults aren’t exactly showing 100% responsibility with texting and driving, we have a chance to at least curb the behavior of teens. They are born holding iPhones and can’t fathom a moment without being connected to their friends. So many senseless deaths have been caused because they have an innate inability to prioritize texting below paying attention to the road. They can’t help it. They need to be trained to do so. Parents need to set good examples by not picking up the phone in the car to text. Pending a complete paradigm shift in behavior, contact your insurance company instead and plug in a OBD2 device and completely disable texting. They won’t want to do what they can’t do. Sure, they’re teens and they’ll try to take out the device and skirt the rules. That’s when you take the keys away. As for social media, as a responsible parent you should be monitoring that and you should be able to tell if they are using it while driving (based on time stamps and the OBD2 device tracking driving behavior) and act accordingly. The hope is that the behavior is ingrained into their brains in the teen years and translates over to responsible driving as adults.
The Sprint M2M network is looking to drive as much attention to the epidemic of texting and driving that they are giving away an iPad mini with Wi-Fi + Cellular for Sprint 32GB! More clicks equals more traffic equals more awareness. Their blog is actually quite comprehensive; it contains plenty of statistics and information about auto safety and so on. So go check out the blog and enter to win the iPad via this handy widget thing. After that, talk to your teens about texting and driving. We can’t just assume they know the dangers of taking your eyes off the road to send a text that 99.9999% of the time is about as important as making sure your air freshener is shaped exactly like a pine tree.
Note: This contest for the iPad Mini is being administered by Sprint M2M, not GeekDad.com