Monday, July 13, 2009

Sue Scheff: Texting and Driving (and Teens)

Texting and driving is something that just won’t go away. I’ve already written about it several times. Sorry if it is getting to be an old topic for my reader. It bugs me when I’m driving to see people doing it and it concerns me A LOT about my teens and their driving. My daughter doesn’t have her license to drive by herself yet but I know the temptation to answer the text or the phone will be huge.

The Today Show recently featured a test of someone driving while texting.
They demonstrated that texting while driving is in fact more dangerous than driving DRUNK. Scary, huh? I see it every day. It’s adults too. In fact, they are the worst. I tell my kids not to text me when I’m driving (they know my driving schedule) but rather to make a phone call. I have hands-free and although I don’t usually initiate phone calls or want to have long phone calls while driving on the highway to pick my son up, I know there are times when my kids (or husband) do need to reach me. It’s much safer for me to talk to them over speaker-phone. How can I possibly answer a text while driving 70 mph on a freeway?? But, I see people do it every day.

There is NO text or phone call as important as staying ALIVE. There is a gadget (actually there are several on the market) available that can stop you from calling or texting while driving. I think trying to use this to monitor my teenagers won’t work. Maybe it will work for someone else’s family, in which case, go for it. But in my house, my kids would figure out a way to disable the Bluetooth receiver on their phone so that they wouldn’t have to deal with the problem. You need to consider the level of technical sophistication your teen has before buying a monitoring product.We can try to teach our teens self-control. They may listen. But, what about the adults driving around doing the same thing? Where is this going?? It’s crazy out there…
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