You are the only one who knows that you’re reading this blog. So you can admit it, did you watch Extreme Home Makeover last night? Even if you’ve never watched it, you know the whole idea behind it, right?
Well, last night’s show kind of struck a chord with us. The deserving family was a mom and dad that had lost a daughter because she was texting and driving. The family has since spent their spare time talking at schools and other events. Their goal: keep people from texting and driving.
Although the family received a brand-new custom home (a slight upgrade from the trailer they lived in), the one thing they seemed to appreciate most was a table carved with their daughter’s handwriting. In other words, nothing could replace what they wanted most. Texting and driving had taken it away.
Our question is as insurance agents…is there anything, or any law that can be passed that will keep people from texting and driving? Since we don’t have any perfect suggestions for how to solve the problem, here are some of the challenges we have to overcome:
People don’t think about the dangers – especially teenagers. None of us jump in a car expecting to get in an accident. When things seem to be going well on the road there is no reason to believe that danger surrounds us. But that feeling of well-being is incredibly deceptive. It only takes a moment and one person not paying attention to get in an accident.
We’re busy people – If you own a business, have a close-knit family, and/or need to schedule events for your kids, you can certainly use the time you spend in the car. But if talking on the phone wasn’t bad enough, texting made everything more dangerous. So how do you overcome the need to get things done without putting yourself and your passengers at risk?
Driving can get boring – Without a radio, driving in the car might very well drive us nuts. When you’re in the car more than five minutes at a time, your mind is bound to wander. If you were to receive a message from a friend, you’re going to be tempted to read it and respond. After all, it gives you something to do.
We rationalize our actions – Even if you are against texting and driving, how often do you justify your actions by texting at stoplights? Seems like a good solution. But unless you have the fastest thumbs in the world, you’re bound to still be texting when the light turns green again. Then what?
We’re not going to make any claims about being perfect. Some of us have texted while driving. We know it’s not safe. We know we shouldn’t do it and yet we have the same weaknesses as everybody else.
It’s easy to see the consequences of texting and driving. It was sad to watch the show last night and think of all the families that have lost loved ones. Knowing those stories is unlikely to stop someone from doing what they know they shouldn’t.
This is the question we want to pose to you: what can be done to stop all of us from texting and driving?