A Deadly Obsession- guest post

I am happy to welcome Shasher from Shasher's Stories to my blog today to talk about something we ALL need to hear...

Texting and driving.

Millions of people do it every single day!

January 18th on Oprah was a story about those who think they have this cell phone, texting and driving thing down pat. If you are one of them.... trust me when I say.... you DO NOT!

Did you watch that episode of Oprah?

Last week we had a whack of teenagers over in our house, while my husband was teaching - I was watching while they texted each other in the room. In discussion last night with one of the other parents, we found out that it is their major if not only method of communication. If you don't text, you won't reach them. Texting is the new way to communicate. Recent research from Nielsen Media Research indicates that people under age 45 now send and receive 3x's more text messages than calls on their cell phones. And thanks to hot toys like the iPhone that I have, 75 BILLION tiny messages a month light up those tiny screens across America alone! We're also texting multitaskers: A recent survey found that 77% of respondents said they've texted or sent mobile e-mail while driving; 41% while skiing, horseback riding, or biking; 11% during a romantic interlude; and 16% while at a funeral.

"The human brain isn't equipped to concentrate on two things simultaneously," says neuroscientist René Marois, PhD and associate professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. In brain scan studies, Marois found that the prefrontal cortex lights up for a longer time in people performing two mental tasks at the same time. This illustrates how the brain slows down reaction time.

"Despite employing 100 billion neurons to process information at rates as high as 1,000 times a second," Marois says, "the human brain has a crippling inability to do two tasks at once." Small wonder that the American College of Emergency Physicians reports a rise in texting-related emergency room visits. A new British study has found that texting while driving slows reaction time more than being drunk or high. The results can be deadly, as with the California train wreck in September 2008 that involved an engineer who wasn't paying attention because he was busy... texting.

Which brings me to driving while distracted...

Car crashes are the number one killer of teens in the US. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data show that each year, on average, more than 300,000 teenagers are injured in car crashes; nearly 8,000 of them are involved in fatal crashes; and more than 3,500 of them are killed.

Since the Ad Council launched their campaign against drunk driving 25 years ago, Peggy Colin (CEO) says the number of drunk driving fatalities has decreased by 60%. That's GREAT news!! She says the biggest problem today for teens isn't driving while under the influence. It's driving while distracted!

I watched the Oprah episode on driving while distracted... with kleenex in hand! Did you know that if you text and drive, you are 8x's more likely to get into an accident?! That's 4 TIMES MORE than a drunk driver!!!! It's not equal to drinking and driving, it's FOUR TIMES WORSE!

This is a personal service announcement video about the effects of driving while texting, it's not for the faint at heart but it is truth. You must be 18 or older to view it.

We live in the 21st Century people!! The technology for hands-free devices that will not only let you talk hands-free but you can speak your email and it will send, it will read your text to you and so forth is available! It's worth it! It just takes a few seconds to look off the road to kill someone!

I think it's very cool that Ford and Microsoft joined forces to create Sync, a hands-free communication device built right into their ford vehicles but for those of us who aren't in the market for a new car.... other hands-free solutions are out there.

If you're interested... here are some more statistics on texting while driving.

Thanks so much for guest posting on my blog today Shasher!


Shash said…
You're VERY welcome!! :-)
scary, scary, scary! I don't see how you could even begin to think texting and driving at the same time is safe... yikes.

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