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Text and Drive? You're Not Alone.
By: Aprel Phelps Downey
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You're driving down the road when it happens. You hear that all-too-familiar 'ding' on your phone indicating the receipt of a new text message. Slowly and cautiously without taking your eyes off the road you reach across the passenger seat until your fingers grasp your cell phone. Once in hand the phone slowly moves towards the steering wheel until it is directly in line with your view of the road. Now that your eyes are focused on your cell phone and the road at the same time it's all good right? Wrong!
 
Touching your cell phone when you're behind the wheel, even for a second, is unsafe. Everyone knows this yet everyone still does it. The thought of leaving that text message unread until you are no longer driving is almost nerve-racking at times. You start to feel as if Facebook will come to a screeching halt or Twitter can’t Tweet without you should you attempt to ignore your phone for a few minutes when behind the wheel.
 
This anxiety-ridden feeling of being disconnected from the outside world when you're behind the wheel is common. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Board recently discovered that approximately 660,000 drivers check text messages while behind the wheel. It stands to reason that each of these text message checks are followed up with a reply. The cellphone addiction while driving continues with checking email messages, calendar appointments and GPS travel routes. The study also found women are more likely than men to reach for that cell phone. Surprisingly, adults are more likely to be found texting while driving than teenagers. All of this adds up to ‘text and drive’ statistics skyrocketing since 2010.
 
The United States single-handedly holds the title of being most likely to text and drive as compared to other countries. This comes as a surprise as 39 states across the country have banned texting while driving entirely. There are 10 states with laws on the books to make it illegal to text while driving. California has gone one step further by outlawing utilizing any app, even GPS apps, unless a hands-free device such as a Bluetooth is in use.
 
The NHTSAB surveyed 38,215 drivers across the country for this study. Each of these drivers utilized their cell phone in some fashion while behind the wheel of a car. In the end 74% of these drivers would stand in support of a ban on texting while driving. An overwhelming majority of 94% of drivers will support a total text ban while driving coupled with fine starting as low as $200 per offense.

The obvious solution to this growing problem is to just simply put the cellphone down anytime you find yourself behind the wheel. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the rest of the social media world can wait for the end of your drive. And yes, that text message will still be there, quietly waiting for you!  


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About the Author
Aprel Phelps Downey is a writing/marketing professional who holds more than seven years marketing experience, including all aspects of promotional and informational campaigns and website development.  To learn more about Aprel please visit her website at www.aprelphelpsdowney.com or follow her on twitter: @aphelpsdowney.
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