Five seconds. That's the minimal amount of time your attention is taken away from the road when you're texting and driving. If you're traveling at 55mph, that’s the equivalent of driving the length of a football field without looking at the road.
According to a study conducted at the University of Utah “drivers who text are six times more likely to crash than people giving their full attention to the road.” Today, 10 states (plus D.C.) prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones; 32 states (plus D.C.) prohibit novice drivers from cell phone use; and 39 states (plus D.C.) prohibit all drivers from text messaging.
Phone companies are also taking measures to tamper texting. For example, AT&T has created a campaign called the “No Text on Board/Take the Pledge” where representatives speak to people about the dangers of texting while driving. At the end of the presentation the representatives urge people to take the pledge to not text while driving. So far, more than 1 million people have taken the pledge, and the number is growing. AT&T also created a new app that disables the ability to text while a person is driving a car. The app even sends a reply to all incoming text messages to let the sender know that the recipient is driving and is unavailable.
I personally use Vlingo, a talk-to-text app, to send texts and emails while I’m driving. My husband uses Siri on his iPhone and he highly recommends it (I can’t wait to upgrade my phone to get Siri!).
Speaking of upgrades, my favorite addition to the 2012 Lexus models I've tested this year is the new Lexus Enform suite of connected services. Enform connects you and your vehicle like never before. It's the convenience of live, 24-hour navigation assistance; the peace of mind of knowing emergency services can be requested at the press of a button or even automatically; and, for owners of 2013 and newer Lexus models, it's the efficiency and ease of using your favorite mobile applications, on the fly... like being able to switch songs on Pandora with a touch of a button on your steering wheel. No more fumbling with the phone! It has me seriously thinking about upgrading to a new IS in 2013 (yes, I just found out that Lexus is revamping the IS next year! Can’t wait to see it!)
I just thought I'd share some of these stats, tips and new apps in hopes that it helps you practice "safe texts!" :)
Thanks to my intern, Eric Ankney, for helping me put this blog post together.