- Car Safety & Safe Driving
How to Prevent a Friend From Texting and Driving
Texting while driving is, unfortunately, on the increase. When you’re with a person who habitually engages in this dangerous activity, it's your responsibility to step up to the plate and convince your friend to stop.
There are several things you can do in order to convince a friend stop texting and driving, but today we’re offering up the top 10 methods of doing so.
1. Take Possession of the Phone
Unfortunately, there are many people who are so obsessed with texting that they have no concept of the dangers it entails. If you're friends with one of these people, one of the best ways to prevent this dangerous practice is to take possession of the phone while you are in the car with the individual. If the phone is in your possession, your friend will be unable to give in to the temptation to text while he or she is driving.
2. Offer to Send the Text
If you discover that your friend is insistent upon sending a text while driving, offer to send it yourself. You're offering to do them a favor. How could they resist? This prevents your friend from being distracted yet will still allow them to send the text he or she wants to send.
3. Encourage Your Friend to Pull to the Side of the Road
One of the safest ways to send a text is to pull to the side of the road (or onto the service road if on a highway). This allows the individual to send the text without the help of a second party yet prevents them from becoming distracted and becoming involved in an accident.
4. Download Applications to Discourage Texting and Driving
Many cell phone providers offer applications that discourage texting and driving in several ways. Some of them will automatically shut the phone off while others verbally notify a user of a text message and allow them to respond verbally without the need to use their fingers.
5. Encourage the Use of Talk-to-Text Technology
In addition to various applications, many cell phone providers offer built in technology for both texting and talking (think "Siri" for iPhone, "Google Now" for Android). The user has only to speak, and the phone will type what you said, leaving your hands free for driving. While this is still unsafe, keeping the driver's eyes on the road is always a good thing.
6. Turn the Phone Off
When the phone is off, it will discourage an individual from sending a text message especially if the phone is out of sight such as in a purse or the glove box. If you must, ask to see your friend's phone and discreetly turn it off. Do it on more than one occasion and maybe they'll start to get the hint!
7. Make Your Friend Let You Out of the Car
Has nothing worked so far? If you're in the car with someone who refuses to stop texting and driving, tell the driver plain and simply that it makes you feel uncomfortable and a bit scared. If they still refuse to stop, make it clear you wish to get out of the car. If this doesn't convince them to stop, nothing you say will - and at that point it's probably best that you do refuse to ride in their car.
8. Be the Designated Driver
If you have a friend who habitually uses their phone while driving, offer to be the driver. This will free your friend to do all the texting he or she wants without having to worry about its dangers.
9. Help Your Friend Know and Understand the Law Regarding Texting and Driving
There are some drivers who can't be convinced that they will cause an accident ("It'll never happen to me"). Sometimes explaining the legal penalties and repercussions that they can face by texting and driving can be even more effective. Many states, cities, and municipalities have laws against texting while driving. I encourage you to find out the laws in your area.
10. Set an Example
One of the best ways to teach a friend not to text and drive is to set an example. This means if you are driving, avoid texting and/or looking at your smartphone. It’s difficult to teach someone else unless you provide an example of proper behavior.
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