Smartphones are Here to Stay
In today’s world of technological advancements, products previously seen as futuristic have become commonplace. Where diners, drive-ins, and sock hops were once regular weekend activities it’s now become standard for teens to have smartphones, communicate through text messages, and constantly stay connected to everything and everyone through Social Media.
A study conducted by the Pew Research Center shows just how much of an upward trajectory smartphone ownership is on. In May of 2011, 35% of Americans owned smartphones. Just two years later, in May of 2013, that number rose to 56%. By 2017 smartphone ownership in the US is projected to balloon to 75%.
Such new technologies are overwhelmingly positive additions to our world. Smartphones are designed to make life easier and more enjoyable, but like many other new developments there are drawbacks. It’s important for parents to have a complete understanding of the potential issues presented by these new devices and know how they can work to prevent any problems from occurring.
Facts About Texting While Driving
The evolution from child to teen is arguably the most significant transition humans make, and it all happens in a relatively short period of time. An increase in responsibilities is one of the many changes that occur, and perhaps the biggest responsibility we receive is the privilege to drive.
According to this infographic on teen driving safety, every day seven teens die in a car accident. Our youth tends to have the mindset that “It won’t happen to me”. Well, it can, and if the rules of the road are not abided by, there’s a great chance something bad will happen. Most people don’t realize that texting while driving is significantly more dangerous than drunk driving. A study conducted by Car and Driver Magazine concluded the following on driver’s reaction times to stopping:
- No distractions: 0.54 seconds to brake
- Legally drunk: Add 4 feet to brake
- Reading: Add 36 feet to brake
- Typing: Add 70 feet to brake
How Can We Prevent It?
Texting while driving is extremely dangerous, and while our youth does have that knowledge, they seem to ignore the facts. According to a poll conducted by AAA, 94% of teens said texting while driving is a serious danger, but 35% of those respondents still admitted to doing it. They know it’s dangerous, yet they still do it, so how can we stop it? Technology! Here are some apps that can be downloaded onto your teen’s smartphone that are designed to help keep them from texting while driving:
- AT&T DriveMode – Available on Android and Blackberry
- Textecution – Available on Android only
- Drivesafe.ly – Available on iPhone, Android, Windows, and Blackberry
Ask your teen for help if needed, but installing these apps is one way to help keep your teen safe on the road.