Texting and driving is not only illegal, but it is also highly dangerous. Texting distracts your attention and can lead to accidents. Though people know this about texting and driving, they do it anyway. To help prevent texting and driving, turn your phone off or place it where you cannot get to it, use an app or blocking mode, and think about the risks.
EditEliminating the Temptation to Text
- Turn your phone off. A good way to prevent texting and driving is to turn your phone off. This helps you not hear any text or social media notifications, or see the screen light up when you get a text. If you don’t see any new messages, you won’t be tempted to look at them or respond.
- As soon as you stop, you can turn the phone back on. If you are on a long car ride, you can pull off the road every hour or so to check your messages if you need to check them.
- Put your phone on silent. If you don’t want to turn your phone off completely, turn it to silent. Even on silent you can see when you have a message. Just make sure you put the phone face down so you can’t see it light up with a new message and be tempted.
- If you want to leave your phone ringer on, you can silence your text message notifications.
- Place the phone in a location you cannot reach. If you want to keep your phone on, you can try to place it in a spot where you cannot reach it while driving. This helps keep your phone unavailable so you cannot be tempted to sneak a peak. Try placing it in the trunk, glove box, behind your seat, or in your console.
- If you do this, make sure you will not want to reach to these inconvenient places while driving. Trying to grab something out of reach can cause an accident.
- Send texts before you drive. To avoid a situation where you realize you need to send a very important text, take a moment before you start the car to send any texts you need to. If you will not be able to wait to read the reply, send the text after your trip.
- You should also plug your destination in your GPS and pull up any playlists you want to listen to before you start the car. This is also very distracting while you drive.
- Get someone to text for you. If you are in the car with someone, ask them to read you any texts you receive. You can also ask them to respond to the texts. This allows you to respond while driving without texting yourself.
- You should only let the person on your phone if you trust them and don’t mind them reading your text conversation.
EditUsing Your Phone’s Technology
- Turn your phone to the Do Not Disturb mode. Each smartphone comes with a Do Not Disturb mode that can be very helpful for trying to prevent texting and driving. The mode makes it so no calls, texts, or alerts can get through while the phone is in it. This can eliminate distractions and reduce the risk your will read or respond to a text.
- In Do Not Disturb mode, you will be able to allow exceptions. This can allow family members to call you in case of emergency.
- Download a prevention app. There are apps you can use on your smartphone to help prevent texting while driving. Some apps will block all texts or calls while you are driving. Some apps will reward you for not using your phone while driving over 6 mph, and others will provide audio files for you to listen to when you receive a message.
- Apps to help you stop texting include Live2Txt, SafeDrive, Drivemode, and DriveSafe.ly.
- Use voice commands. Most smartphones have technology that will turn your voice to a text message. If you can figure out how to work your voice function, you can text using only your voice, even if you are driving.
- Before you try this, determine how the voice text function on your phone works. Having to look at the phone and figure out how to get to the text defeats the purpose of handsfree voice-text.
EditAssessing the Risk
- Ask yourself if it is worth the risk. Every time you get the urge to text while driving, ask yourself, “Is reading that text right this moment worth crashing my car?” or something similar. By thinking about the risk each time you want to text, it may help you get out of the habit completely.
- This can also help you learn patience. Having the patience not to text because of the risks can be a good thing.
- Take the pledge. Many websites and cell phone companies have pledges that you can take against texting and driving. The pledge is your promise that you will never text and drive. By pledging, you acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving and that it can injure or kill other drivers.
- Let your friends and family know you are driving. Before you get behind the wheel, send a text telling someone the conversation will be on hold for now because you are driving. You may also use a code at the end of a text, like #D that lets the person you are texting know you are about to start driving.
- When you let someone know you are driving, you can tell them, “I am driving. I will not respond for the next 45 minutes. You can wait that long to respond so I’m not distracted.”
EditPreventing Others From Texting and Driving
- Place an app on your teen’s phone. Parents can install apps that help prevent teens from texting and driving. These apps can alert you to when your teen uses their phones while driving, and also when the teen turns off the app. Talk to your teen about using these apps on their phone and their purpose. You want to help them learn safe driving habits, not make them think you are spying on them.
- Cellcontrol is a paid subscription service that provides a device that goes in the car which hooks to the app. The app blocks the phone from receiving or sending texts while the car is moving. It also blocks other features, like the camera.
- Drive Safe Mode is another app for parents that helps prevent the driver from sending and receiving texts.
- Talk to the person. If you see someone who constantly texts and drives, consider having a conversation with them. You may want to ask them if they are aware of the dangers of texting and driving, or just tell them you feel uncomfortable when they do that while you ride in the car with them.
- For example, if you have a teen driver, have a family discussion about the dangers of texting and driving. Discuss possible alternatives to help keep your teen off their phone.
- If you are in the car with someone who is driving, ask them not to text while you are a passenger. Say, “I am very uncomfortable with texting and driving because it is so dangerous. Will you please not text while you are driving me around?”
- Offer to text for the person. If someone is trying to check their phone while driving, offer to read the text and respond for them. This keeps their eyes on the road, and they still get to send a text they feel is really important.
- Try saying, “I am happy to text them back so you can concentrate on driving. Just tell me what to say.”
- Set rules. Setting texting and driving rules in your family can help everyone, teen and adult drivers alike. Make it a rule that no one can text while driving, even the adults. This sets a good example for teen drivers and keeps everyone safe.
- Set consequences for texting and driving. For example, your teen may lose driving privileges if they text and drive.
- Don’t text and call each other while you know the other person is driving. This reduces the risk that your family will text back.