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Thursday, April 18, 2013

11 Reasons to Stop Texting While Driving Now

by brettmerritt (bio)

More than eleven teenagers die everyday as a result of someone driving while texting. Obviously that number goes up when you include adults.

Allow me to ask two questions:

What is the acceptable number of yearly deaths caused by distracted driving in our country?

Now, what is the acceptable number of yearly deaths caused by distracted driving in your family?

Both numbers should be zero.

My friend and former co-worker, Haley Ann Warner, and her family experienced great loss this March. Her parents, Dave & Leslee Henson, went on a morning walk in St George, Utah and were hit by a car while walking on the sidewalk. Her dad was killed. Her mom, shielded somewhat because of the actions of her dad, survived with a broken neck, broken back, separated shoulder, and several other injuries that included more than 5000 stitches and staples.

The driver at fault was texting and speeding.

Haley's hope is that we can save lives by educating people on the dangers of distracted driving, most specifically, texting and talking on cell phones while driving. I support this effort wholeheartedly.

Here are some sobering facts. Texting while driving causes:

● 1,600,000 accidents per year – National Safety Council
● 11 teen deaths each day – Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Fatality Facts
● Nearly 25% of all car accidents

Texting while driving is:

● Six times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated
● The number one driving distraction reported by teen drivers

Texting while driving:

● Makes you 23x more likely to crash – National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
● Is the same as driving blind for five seconds at a time. (five seconds of driving at 55 mph covers the length of a football field.) – VA Tech Transportation Institute
● Slows your brake reaction speed by 18% – HumanFactors & Ergonomics Society

And, if you need more convincing, AT&T put together a little documentary for you called The Last Text which you can watch here.

Today's post is meant to put a lump in your throat and a pit in your stomach. It's about loss. It's about the cost of distraction. It's about being less selfish.

To find the laws governing distracted driving in your state, click here.

"Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land ... For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward." —D&C 58: 21, 26-28

I'm all for agency but ... you should stop. I did. I'm through with excuses. There's even apps that will help you stop. We shouldn't wait to stop until someone close to us dies or until we hurt someone. We can stop and then encourage others to do the same. It's more than worth it.

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