Take the “It Can Wait” Challenge- Put your phone down while driving

In Houston and across our great nation, texting accidents happen everyday.

We are now a “connected” society. The smartphone revolution changed the way we communicate on an everyday basis.

Not only is our communications changing how we interact with each other it is also changing the rules particularly with young people.

Go to any gathering of young people and you will see heads down looking at their cell phones. Texting of literally thousands of texts per month are not unusual and the norm.

While texting is not the only danger of distracted driving is proving to be the most dangerous of the other distractions. Studies have shown that the time it takes to look at your cell phone after you hear the notification of a new text or email can take your eyes off the road for a few seconds which can be the difference between life and death.

Of course there are other distractions such as, GPS devices on — on dashboards and DVD movies in cars and SUVs all of this is a potential distraction to a driver. The dilemma we face is the safety factor balanced against the high-tech communication explosion going on right now.

In larger cities such as Houston, the highways are extremely crowded and assured clear distance or assured safe distance behind a car or truck is hard to get. When you add crowded and congested highways to long commutes the e-mail and texting problem is exacerbated.

An absolute answer is probably not available, what we can do is be aware if we are compulsive about texting or email communications that we don’t need to address the text message or e-mail the minute we received it.

Stress management experts recommend that everyone turn off their notifications of new texts or e-mails. Cellular companies have also taken steps to reduce distracted driving accidents with campaigns such as “it can wait”.

It really can wait and take the challenge and turn off your cell phone until you get to your destination. That action will greatly improve your odds of arriving safely.

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