As an emergency services volunteer of over 16 years, I’ve been to scenes where lives have been destroyed. The disturbing reality is that far too many of them have involved drivers distracted by mobile phones. Moodoff day on February 26 aims to raise awareness of the dangers involved with texting and driving.
What are we being asked to do? Try the following:
- Avoid touching your phone unless someone calls you
- Avoid checking your e-mails and SMS’s
- Please wait 5hrs after you get-up, to get your daily dose of Facebook and Twitter updates
- Wait 5hrs after you get-up, to logon to World of Warcraft or Angry Bird (or whatever your favourite video game is)
What are you to do with all this newly found spare time?
- Talk to your family
- Go for a walk
- Swim, ride a bike, lift some weights
Basically, do whatever you like or would normally do, but leave your mobile alone until 5 hours after you wake up. It’s not much to ask, but if you think about it … it might be rather difficult for you to achieve! Now, here’s some information about why we should switch off a little bit more often every day.
I regularly cycle to work and have been clipped by a driver distracted by her phone, she didn’t even realise she’d hit my bike. It’s a scary thought that other people distracted by their phone and inability to put them down could be the cause of you being involved in an accident.
Studies have shown that people that text while driving are 23 times more likely to be in an accident causing either themselves or someone else harm. Sadly 21% of young drivers under the age of 25 that were involved in fatal accidents were found to be distracted by their mobile phone at the time of impact, meaning they could potentially have avoided the incident had they been fully aware of their surroundings.
Personally if I’m in the car, my phone is in a cradle and not touched. I want to get home to my beautiful family safely and I don’t want to be the cause of someone else not getting home at all. If you don’t have the self control to leave your phone alone, try turning it off when you’re in the car or putting it in your bag in the back seat.
There’s been a lot of campaigns around texting and driving such as M8 it can W8, personally my message is far simpler and comes from experiencing the devastation of fatal vehicle accidents: It’s better to arrive (or return a message) 5 minutes late, than to be dead on time…
On February 26th, will you take the pledge to not text and drive?