In the U.S. every year, texting while driving causes
- 1.6 million auto crashes
- 500,000 injuries
- 6,000 deaths
According to the article, “Rocket scientist’s idea could put an end to texting while driving” by Gabriel Noble, “Texting while driving has replaced drinking and driving as the leading cause of teen vehicular death, responsible for 20 percent of all teen highway fatalities in the U.S.”
A quick review of “distracted driving”…
Scientific fact: The human brain can’t pay attention to more than one thing at a time. This limitation is necessary for survival. Without it, information would flood the brain from every direction, and our perceptions would be chaotic and our thoughts would be unmanageable. We “multi-task” by switching attention back and forth, an inefficient way of doing two things at once. However, when one of those things is driving a car, dangers can come up quickly. If your attention is focused on a cell phone screen in one of those moments, it would be impossible for you to sense the danger. You could become one of those 1.4 million horrible crash statistics, maybe even one of the deaths.
In 2008, Scott Tibbitts, a NASA engineer, was scheduled to meet with Dave Sueper. Sueper never made it. Unfortunately, a teenager ran a red light while texting and slammed into Sueper’s car, killing him. He left behind a wife and two kids. Himself a father to teen children, Tibbitts was so disturbed by the tragedy that he began thinking and talking to other engineers about a way to make it impossible to send or receive a text message while driving.
Years later, the result is a clever device called “Groove,” which makes it impossible to send or receive text messages while the car engine is running.
The article quotes research that says 90% of people believe it’s wrong to text while driving. It also says that 30% of people admitted to doing it.
Does your teen drive? Does your teen have a cell phone? Does your teen send and receive text messages? What are the chances that your child would be tempted to send or receive a text message while driving?