There is a new acronym parents need to become familiar with DWT or Driving While Texting. This was created because of the increasing number of accidents attributed to DWT. According to federal statistics, between 2001 and 2007 approximately 16,000 young people died in the US in accidents caused by drivers who were sending text messages. A person is four times more likely to cause an accident driving while drunk (DUI) and eight times more likely when DWT. Because of this, approximately 30 states have enacted legislation prohibiting texting when driving. Additionally, the Gwent Police Department, a local British police department created a graphic PSA video that all parents should watch. This video is difficult to watch, however it shows what can happen when teens text and drive.
If your teen owns a smart phone and has a driver’s license chances are they are texting while driving. Today’s teens are overloaded with technology and cell phones have become an integral part of their lives. Their days revolve around these devices that can be a hazard for them and others if not used properly.
However, when it comes to using mobile phones while driving, adults are just as bad as teens, if not worst. Let us not forget the bus driver who was caught texting while driving a bus full of students. Ask yourself – do you text and drive? Do you use your mobile device in any way while driving? If so, you are just as guilty and if your children were in the car with you – you’re sending the wrong message. You’re telling them it’s ok to text and drive.
Oddly enough, the Highway Loss Data Institute found that three out of four states that ban texting while driving actually had an increase in crash rates. The study also concluded that texting bans might actually increase the risk of texting while driving because teens continue to do so despite laws preventing it. Let’s face it, the teen years are a time when they feel invincible and take the approach ‘that can’t happen to me’; while the realities and studies show that this phenomenon is increasing.
That is why families should not rely on the government to protect their teens and family. They need to recognize that they are living in a digital age and the impact technology has on their lives. Parents must be proactive in educating themselves and their families about the dangers of texting and driving, how to prevent it and the fatal outcomes that can result.
There are several apps available to block texting while driving and there is anti-texting software and hardware that parents can purchase to protect their families. For information on products to help prevent Driving While Texting (DWT) visit GuardChild and start protecting your family today.