WHERE U AT? LOL! YEAH!
Are any of these messages worth dying for? Are any texted conversations worth dying for? Viewing these messages seems harmless, doesn’t it? However, the possible results of a driver being distracted long enough to send or read any of these messages can be devastating. As AT&T’s new documentary, “The Last Text” so powerfully demonstrates, one single text can end or change a life forever.
Teens generally send 100+ text messages each day. It’s how they communicate. Teens also expect practically instant responses to their messages. Since they also see adults texting while driving, what can be wrong with it? According to AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign, 97% of teens know texting and driving is dangerous, but continue to text and drive “all the time.” As a matter of fact, 43% admit to doing so and 75% say texting and driving is common among their friends. As we head into prom season, graduation and summer, also known as the “100 deadliest days for teen drivers on the road – the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day,” the prevalence of texting and driving creates a potentially deadly combination.
Listed below are some alarming statistics and highlights from the AT&T Teen Driver Survey:
- “Peer Pressure: Almost all teens (89 percent) expect a reply to a text or email within five minutes or less.
- Knowledge but Little Action: 75 percent of teens say texting while driving is very dangerous – but 43 percent admit to doing so.
- “Gateway” Dangers: 70 percent of teens believe texting while stopped at a red light is dangerous.
- Still, 60 percent of teens admit to texting at a red light and 73 percent admit to glancing at their phone at a red light.
- 61 percent of teens say they glance at their phone while driving, and 61 percent have seen their friends read or send an email, or text, while driving.
- Learning by Example: According to 77 percent of teens, adults tell kids not to text while driving – yet adults do it themselves “all the time.”
- 41 percent of teens report seeing their parents read or send an email, or text, while driving.
- Still, 89 percent of teenagers say their own parents are good role models in terms of not texting while driving.
- And, 62 percent of teens feel that getting reminders from their own parents not to text and drive would be effective in getting them or their friends to stop texting and driving.
- Minority Disparities: Hispanic teens (54 percent) are more likely to admit to the practice of texting while driving than Caucasian (41 percent) and African-American (42 percent) teens.
- Hispanic teens (52 percent) also are more likely to report seeing their parents text while driving, compared to 38 percent of Caucasian teens and 44 percent of African-American teens who reported seeing their parents text while driving.
- What Helps Lessen the Urge: 89 percent of teens said a phone app to prevent texting & driving – like AT&T DriveModeTM – would be an effective way to get them or their friends to stop texting and driving. AT&T DriveModeTM provides a customizable auto-reply message notifying friends that the user is driving and will respond when it is safe.”
While it may be convenient to convince yourself that multi-tasking is not so difficult, driving should never be mixed with any other activity. Too many unpredictable things can happen when driving while distracted. Why complicate an already-challenging task by adding an unnecessary layer of risk? It’s just not worth it. And, yes, that message CAN wait.
Every year I give presentations to area schools and parents about distracted driving in an effort to teach young people the importance of driving carefully, and to empower them to be sure they do not allow others to drive while distracted, at least not while they are in the car.
If you or your child’s school would like to know more about my presentation, please let me know. I of course do not charge a fee for it, as it is part of my volunteer community service program.
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About the author:
Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. The association recently named him “Trial Lawyer of the Year” (2011). He has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 1%” of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as “one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers” who specializes in personal injury matters, including automobile accident claims, premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and work-accident claims. He has successfully litigated multiple cases against truck and bus companies, the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority, and other automobile owners. His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest settlement ever in a personal injury case involving WMATA. Mr. Zambri has also been acknowledged as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” by Best Lawyers (2011 edition) and has been repeatedly named a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2010)– national publications that honor the top lawyers in America.