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Convincing Your Teen of the Danger of Texting While Driving Just Got Easier - Auto Accident Attorneys in Orlando Explain

Posted by copeland on September 12, 2013

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Today's teens spend a lot of time texting. In fact, 68 percent of teenagers send more than 20 texts per day and 18 percent send a mind-blowing 200 texts each day. It's become a major mode of communication for the 87 percent of Americans age 14-17 to communicate - and a major risk of auto accidents for young drivers who fail to see the danger in texting while driving.

The statistics are sobering:

  • In 2011, 387,000 Americans were injured due to distracted driving, and more than 3300 were killed;
  • Cell or smart phones contribute to at least 23 percent of car crashes in America each year - upwards of 1.3 million accidents
  • Texting takes a driver's eyes off the road for a minimum of five seconds, during which a vehicle going 55 miles per hour will travel the length of a football field;
  • Drivers spend 10 percent of the time they're texting drifting outside of their lane;
  • It takes an average of just seven seconds for a car collision to happen.

Despite these statistics, 34 percent of teens admit to having texted while driving, 77 percent say they're at least somewhat confident that they can safely text while driving; and 55 percent insist that texting while driving is easy.

Teens no doubt will offer up multiple justifications for texting while driving. For instance, they'll insist that they only read, never compose texts while behind the wheel; that holding their phones up close to the windshield allows them to see both the road and their texts; or that they slow down while texting, leaving plenty of room for them to hit the brakes if needed. As an adult who has spent many more years driving than your teen, you know each of these excuses is invalid.

Of course, as a parent, you also know that convincing teenagers they're not invincible can be a difficult task. That's why auto accident attorneys with Orlando's Todd E. Copeland & Associates recommend SMS Racing, a free downloadable video game designed to help teens see just how difficult it is to safely drive while texting. Players are challenged with driving a car around a track while receiving and responding to text messages within 10 seconds. Failing to respond to texts in time docks points, but responding could land a player's car in a ditch.

In the real world, texting makes a driver three times more likely to get into an accident. And, if a recently passed New Jersey law catches on in other states, third party texters may be held liable for texting and driving accidents. That means the friend who knowingly texts your teen while he or she is driving can be held partially responsible for the accident.

Download SMS Racing and challenge your teen to a game. It's a fun and effective way to talk with your young driver about driving safety.