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Effective Tools to Keep Your Teen Safe on the Roads 6
Posted by Darryl in Automotive, Automotive Help, Car Safety, safety, Technical, texting, texting while driving, Vehicle Safety on 02 6th, 2014


According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, teens are four times more likely to crash than adult drivers. Car crashes also are the leading cause of death for those between age 16 and 20, killing more than 5,600 teenagers every year. While there is no fail-proof way to ensure safety on the road, there are ways to keep your teenager aware and accountable while driving. Help your teen focus on safety with these gadgets and resources aimed with distracted drivers in mind.

From One Second to the Next

Real-life consequences from distracted driving may drive the message home for teen drivers. Legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog made the sobering documentary, “From One Second to the Next” in partnership with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. The film is part of AT&T’s It Can Wait campaign and follows real-life accounts of drivers who text while driving and the serious accidents that ensue. One texting driver killed three kids riding in an Amish buggy, while another disabled a young child who was walking home from school with his sister. The texting drivers, and suffering families, all make pleas to put down your smartphones while driving.

Get a Safe Driving App

Teens are tethered to their friends and peers and want to stay in constant contact. Eliminate the temptation to text and drive while still keeping in touch. An app like Safe Driving Text Machine can automatically send a message of your choice in response to an incoming text. The app can detect driving mode, but also respond to all text messages even if you’re not behind the wheel. Use a text like, “Hi, this is a safe text app I’m using. It’s letting you know I’m driving right now and will text you when it’s safe. See you!”

TextArrest takes safety on the road a step further. It completely disables texting and email on smartphones by sensing when a car is traveling faster than 5 mph. It also can track the movement and location of mobile phones in transit, providing you some peace of mind as your teen heads to and from somewhere.

Get Rewarded for Safe Driving

Set consequences for your teen and his driving behavior. Take away driving privileges and ask him to contribute to the cost of car insurance for each text or distraction. But don’t forget to reward him with good driving behavior with a gas card or extra car time.

An app like DriveScribe also can help you monitor your teen’s driving behavior and establish reward incentives. The app awards points for good driving and can be cashed in for gift cards at participating retailers. Driving behavior is monitored in real-time and can also give auditory alerts when speeding or approaching stop signs. It also is able to auto-respond to incoming texts and records violations for parents to review.

Hyundai’s Blue Link System

Hyundai’s Blue Link interface will call for help after a crash, but also alert parents when their teenagers are distracted behind the wheel. A handy curfew alert feature automatically calls, texts or emails parents if a car is driven after a predetermined time. Parents also can set speed limits for teens and receive messages if their teen breaks that rule. The idea is if your teen knows you’re monitoring his driving behavior, he will engage in less risky behaviors or suffer the consequences. Chapman Hyundai‘s Facebook page recently posted stats about Blue Link’s Info system search, in which your teen can also do everything from remotely starting their engine and honking their horn, to searching for and sending points of interest to the vehicle. Convenience and safety in one package is a nice benefit.

Lead by Example

Remember that kids grow up watching their parents drive. Wrestling with the music controls, digging through the glove box, putting on makeup or snacking with one hand on the wheel are all bad habits teens learn from their parents. If you’ve always been a distracted driver, there’s never been a better time to turn over a new leaf. Tell your teen you want to work on focused driving together and share info about the classes and gadgets you’re learning about for safe driving.

Irony: Man Texts Of Texting While Driving Danger, Before Driving Off Bridge 3
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Driving, Kurt, News, texting while driving on 08 3rd, 2012

Texting while driving – image by flickr user mrJasonWeaver

No matter how many time we’re told that texting while driving is a bad idea, many drivers simply can’t break themselves of the habit. A Texas man learned firsthand of the risks involved, and his inattention behind the wheel nearly cost him his life.

WLBT reports that Chance Bothe, a college student, was texting while driving near Huntsville, Alabama. Aware of the danger involved, Bothe’s final text was “I need to quit texting, because I could die in a car accident.” Seconds after sending the text, Bothe’s truck jumped a bridge railing and landed in a ravine below.

The accident was severe, and Bothe suffered a broken neck, broken bones in his face, a skull fracture and serious brain injuries. The Texas man nearly died on the operating table on three separate occasions, but doctors fought hard to keep him alive.

Six months after the accident, Bothe is on his way to making a full recovery, and may be the world’s most outspoken critic of texting while driving. Of the practice, Bothe said, “Don’t do it. It’s not worth losing your life.” Bothe had his moment of clarity at his grandmother’s funeral, thinking , “I’m surprised that’s not me up in that casket. I came very close to that, to being gone forever.”

Image credit: flickr user mrJasonWeaver

Can You Be Held Liable For A Crash, Even If You Weren’t In The Car? 10
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Kurt, Legal, News, texting while driving on 05 10th, 2012

This much is established as fact: Kyle Best, 19 years old at the time of the accident, struck an unnamed couple on a motorcycle behind the wheel of his pickup truck. The impact was severe enough that both rider and passenger lost their left legs, but were lucky enough to survive that accident. The root cause? Distracted driving, as Best was exchanging text messages with Shannon Colonna at the time of the accident.

Best has already pled guilty to multiple violations of New Jersey law, including careless driving, failure to maintain lane position and use of a mobile phone while driving. Now, in what Autoblog claims may be a legal first, the injured couple’s attorney has named both Best and Colonna in a civil lawsuit. The attorney alleges that Colonna knew Best was behind the wheel, and her actions were no different than if she’d been in the car at the time of the crash.

Colonna’s attorney insists his client can’t be held liable for another’s bad decision (to read the texts while driving), and furthermore Colonna did not realize the dangers of texting while driving. We’ll buy into the first part of that statement, but not the second half: does anyone in this country not fully understand the dangers of texting while driving?

A judge will decide whether Colonna can be added to the suit on May 25. If the judge decides in favor of the plaintiffs (the injured couple), the case sets an interesting legal benchmark. Since loosely-enforced laws don’t seem to work, maybe the best way to stop texting while driving is to hold both parties accountable when an accident occurs.

Image credit: flickr user jkbeitz, licensed under CC 2.0

NTSB Recommends Complete Ban On Cell Phone Usage While Driving 13
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, News, texting, texting while driving on 12 13th, 2011

Let’s all clear the air and admit it, texting while driving has basically turned into a serious epidemic and many of us are guilty of doing it at one point in time. For many years lawmakers and some states have wanted to outright ban cell phone usage including texting while driving. Although in some areas of the United States you are not legally permitted by the law to text while driving or in some rare cases, use your cell phone while driving unless it is through hands free connectivity.

Quite possibly due to an exponential rise in the number of people texting while driving, federal accident investigators have called for a nationwide ban on the use of cell phones and text messaging devices while driving any vehicle. The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) has attempted to completely ban the usage of portable electronic devices while driving in the past. If the states adopt the NTSB’s recent recommendation and put it into law, it would outlaw nonemergency phone calls and texting by drivers of every vehicle on the road. The law would not apply to passengers using their cell phones.

Unprecedented sales of smartphones are a major contributor to the grave influx of people texting while driving. Not to mention, about 85% of teens will have a cell phone before graduating from high school. Many of those phones are capable of text messaging and teens are more apt to do so than an adult. Some teens simply think that they are invincible or somehow capable of taking their eye off of the road for 3 seconds or more while navigating 2 tons of metal and glass on 4 wheels barreling down the road at 70 mph.

Over the course of the past two years distracted driving related accidents, including texting and cell phone usage, have almost doubled. This year alone, about 25% of crashes reported by police are due to distracted driving of some sort. You can bet that the majority of those crashes are directly related to texting while driving.

Do you live in a state that has already put a ban on the use of cell phones while driving? Will you feel safer if and when your state puts the cell phone/texting and driving ban into place?

AT&T Releases ‘Don’t Text While Driving Documentary’ Video 29
Posted by Darryl in accident, Automotive, crash, featured, texting, texting while driving, video on 12 29th, 2010

“All because of a senseless text message”… those are the unfortunate words shared by the friends and family of ‘texting while driving’ car accident victims. Everyone has a choice in life and as we get older we tend to get wiser, thinking that we are making all of the right choices even when we are behind the wheel of a car.

Some things are completely out of our control and others rest in our ability to drive one to two tons worth of various metals, plastics, rubber and glass at speeds sometimes over 70 miles per hour. New automobiles are laced in new technologically advanced safety features, in hopes to lead us down a virtually worry-free highway. But there lies a problem. Drunk drivers, carless drivers, speeding drivers and texting drivers… There are many categories of drivers that cause accidents but one of the fastest growing issues remain to be texting while driving. In the exclusive AT&T ‘Don’t Text While Driving Documentary’ video below, a series of life-changing events take place all because of someone texting while driving. This message may seem strange to come from AT&T, one of the nation’s largest cellular phone service providers, but it is just one more step to help make our public more aware of the dangers of texting while driving.

Maybe it is time you put that cell phone down while behind the wheel of your car! What is more important, your life or that text message? Stay safe!

[source: AT&T YouTube Channel]