Distracted driving is deadly. We know that, and yet many are still pulled into responding to text messages while driving. It might be curiosity, social pressure or boredom — whatever the motivation, texting while driving has to be avoided.
Here are a few suggestions that might be helpful in cutting the habit.
Out of sight, out of mind — This is the cold turkey approach. You simply get the phone out of sight, out of mind. This might not be possible or advisable on longer trips, but you can probably journey to the supermarket, the post office, and dry cleaners without the accompaniment of a text convo.
Manage your family and friends’ expectations. Ever gotten a text which you couldn’t immediately pick up, and then hear or feel an endless stream of text messages? Curiosity finally gets the best of you and you break away from whatever you’re trying to focus on, only to see that it’s all variations of the same insistent messages demanding to know…what you want for lunch. It’s…important.
Make it widely known among your social group that you don’t EVER respond to text messages while behind the wheel. For longer trips, consider altering your voice and text auto-reply messages to announce that you’re driving, and you’ll return all messages when you stop. When you manage the expectations of others, they’ll eventually figure out that the reasons you don’t immediately text back are that you’re driving, not that you just need one more digital prod.
Make a strategy for long trips. It’s understandable if you sometimes have to stay in touch with your world even while you’re driving. If you’ve got a sick child at home or you’re expecting an important business call, you can’t lock your phone in your console and be done with it. There are things you can do that are better than texting.
First, tell babysitters, business associates, and others when you’ll be on the road and that they should only try to reach you if it’s truly important. If you have a passenger, give that non-driver your phone and let them monitor the calls and respond if necessary. If driving alone, make frequent rest stops to check your messages or proactively call others for a status update.
If it really is an emergency or an issue that requires immediate response, others should call you rather than text. A phone call is still distracting so keep this in mind.
If you or a loved one have been injured as the result of a distracted driver you may deserve compensation. Call Campbell & Associates today to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys 704.333.0885.