Driving is such a big responsibility. I don’t think I fully realized it until I’d already had my license for a couple of years.
When I started driving, I didn’t have a cell phone. Since then, cell phones have obviously become even more prominent in our lives. While it can be hard to take a break from responding to texts, the plain truth is that texting while driving is just a terrible idea.
In Florida, a “Designated Texter” campaign has recently been launched by the Orange County Expressway Authority. The goal is to get drivers to hand their phone to a passenger who takes over texting duties for the duration of the trip.
The Huffington Post points out that this type of campaign isn’t necessarily a brand new idea, but I think we can agree it’s always good to make safety a public issue. According to the campaign’s website, if you are texting and driving, you are “23 times more likely to cause a car accident. The more we talk about ways to curb this behavior, the better.
When I drive, whoever sits in the front seat gets to be in charge of my phone. I don’t ever really stress about certain people reading my text messages, but if I’m at all worried, then I just have to accept that the phone needs to go away until I reach my destination.
The pledge for this Florida campaign also speaks to the passengers and their responsibilities. I’ve been in cars where people have texted while driving, and I’m really ashamed to say that I haven’t always spoken up. When I didn’t try and get someone to correct this unsafe habit, I was overlooking the danger their texting posed to them, me and other people on the road. There’s really not a good excuse to not say something.
If someone is responsible enough to know not to text while driving, the least you can do as a passenger is help them out when they ask you to take over their phone. You want to hold up your end so they continue to make this good decision again in the future. Whether you live somewhere with an official “Designated Texter” campaign or not, spread the word to your friends and family about the importance of adopting this practice in your cars.
Do you elect someone as your “designated texter” when you drive? Have you ever told someone to stop texting and driving? Tell us in the comments!