It’s convenient to stay in contact through texting, but it’s a distraction that can kill. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports twelve percent of all automobile-related deaths in 2012 were caused by a driver talking or texting on a cell phone. Mobile phone use while driving, specifically texting, is a 21st century phenomenon that has prompted most states to ban texting while driving, at least in some form, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association.
While you can’t argue with the statistics, you also can’t deny the convenience of having a cell phone in the car. It would be a shame to give up the benefits because of potential harm having a mobile phone in the car could cause. The first step toward making it acceptable to have a mobile device in the car is getting a handle on the texting problem. With this danger out of the way, there are plenty of good reasons for having a cell phone handy.
Reining in Texting
Your teen can promise never to text while driving, but when that little electronic tone chimes, it’s hard to ignore. It’s far too tempting to take a peek and, once the message is open, to tap out a quick response. You may want to remove the temptation, but the solution isn’t to remove your teen’s phone from her hand. The phone is the solution.
Safe driving apps like TextArrest sense when the phone is in motion and intercept texts, notifying senders that their message will be delivered and answered as soon as the recipient has stopped driving, according to Mobility Wire. DriveSafe.ly is an app the incurably curious will love. It reads your text messages out loud and interprets texting lingo like “omg” and “idk.” You can even opt to add an auto-responder.
The Case for Cell Phone Convenience
Once the texting is under control, there are a number of valid arguments for you or your teen to have a cell phone when on the road. Never getting lost tops the list. Most new cell phones come with GPS pre-installed. Just open the app and it will help you find an address or figure out where you are.
If you truly are lost or experience car trouble, then you’ll want to a phone so you can call for help. Your cell phone will be invaluable if you’re in an accident. Use it to take pictures of injuries, damage and other vital visual info. Many auto insurance companies have mobile apps so you can access your insurance information quickly in an emergency or report the accident straight from the scene.