Did you know that the typical text message takes about 4.6 seconds to send? Doesn’t sound like much does it? Well, consider this: in that amount of time, you can drive the length of a football field (100 yards) — all while not paying attention to the road.
The use of cellphones while driving is more than an issue for people frustrated by the person in front of them who’s too busy texting to realize the light has turned green. According to Verizon Wireless (who run their own Don’t Text and Drive campaign), you are 23 (!) times more likely to get into an accident if you’re driving and texting compared to someone who’s not distracted. Despite that fact—and that 41 states have banned texting and driving—Verizon found that “57 percent of drivers ages 21-24 send text messages and emails while driving.”
As part of their commitment to end this practice, the telecommunications giant has teamed with Safely to distribute the Safely Go app. The free smartphone app allows you to have three “VIP” contacts that can get in touch with you in case of an emergency. Everyone else, however, receives an automatic reply that you’re too busy to reply—because you’re driving safely.
To better drive these facts home and further spread the word, groups of concerned citizens have joined forces to create their own anti-texting and driving message. In nearby New Jersey, for example, a group of students got together to promote safe driving with a clever public service announcement set to Biz Markie’s classic song, “Just A Friend.”
The next time you get in your vehicle and get the urge to text, email, tweet, whatever, remember: No matter how important you think that message is, it can wait.