Don’t Drive InTEXTicated
Image source: onlineschools.com
As our winter cabin fever breaks and spring allows easier road travel, we encourage you to drive safely.
While it is illegal to text and drive in Massachusetts, as well as 38 other states and the District of Columbia, the incidence of texting and driving remains high. It has become a national epidemic. Texting while driving:
• Makes you 23 times as likely to have an accident (National Highway Safety Transportation Administration);
• Causes 1,600,000 accidents per year (National Safety Council);
• Is 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated.
Much of the anti-text-and-drive campaign is directed toward teenagers, but the truth is that many adults do it too. The temptation to read the message that just pinged you and to respond to it is strong, especially if you spend a lot of time on the road.
Happily, there are several apps to help mitigate this temptation. If you or your loved ones feel compelled to communicate while on the road, check these out:
• DriveSafe.ly® - Reads emails and text messages out loud in real time and automatically responds. Functions without the user touching the cell phone. Annual cost is $13.95 for a single user and $34.95 for a family of four.
• Live2Txt® - Enables you to block incoming notifications of texts and calls while you are driving and sends a customized message to the sender that you are unavailable to respond. This is the brain child of a 30+ year police veteran who saw the destruction caused by distracted driving regularly and realized that education alone was not a strong enough deterrent. Available at the Google Play store for $1.99.
• SAFECELL® - Automatically disables email, call and messaging functions and alerts you to local no-cell and no-text rules. Rewards drivers with points for good driving behavior and allow drivers to review their driving. Available at the Google Play store for $2.99 or the Apple App store for $1.99.
• Txtblocker® - Allows you to designate “no cell zones” based on locations and times. Includes monitoring options for parents. Monthly cost is $6.99 for one driver; also provides annual and family plan options.
We care about your well-being. Please be safe on the road and take advantage of these apps if they will help you and your children resist the temptation to drive distracted.