So Why Do Dick and Jane Text and Drive?
This past week, I received a horrific phone call from my mother. She informed me that one of my relatives in San Francisco, California, had been ejected in a car accident. When I asked what size vehicle hit the 21 year old girl, mom said, “No one else was involved.”
“What?” I asked.
She went on to describe the accident. The young girl was busy texting to her friends and took her eyes off of the road for just a minute. When she looked up, it was too late. She hit a stationary object and because she was not wearing a seatbelt, she was ejected from the vehicle. Luckily, she survived. She is truly blessed!
At last count, she had four broken ribs, a broken collar bone, multiple lacerations and severe road burns from where she slid on the pavement. My uncle told my mom that her beautiful face may be disfigured for life.
Uncle Joe was so mad about the circumstances that he has taken on a mission to inform everyone of the incident and to stop everyone from texting while driving. He insists that everyone hear this story and enlisted my help. “Tell everyone,” he asserted. Mom added, “he wants everyone to take the time to buckle up, too.”
All weekend, I contemplated this dilemma. Just how does one stop people from texting while driving, especially when states have been passing laws and trying to intercede for years? People have said that once children were introduced to texting that they would grow up to text and drive.
Yes, texting while driving is extremely dangerous. Looking down at the phone, reading incoming messages, then typing tiny letters to respond, all while driving a 2,000 pound vehicle 60 miles per hour has to be insane. Oh, and I left out the really insane part of this idiotic habit. The driver has to engage his or her brain to read, then respond to the written conversation. Tell me, just when does the task of driving enter the left hemisphere of the brain while all of this texting is happening? My answer. It does not.
Well, I do not know why I have to be the one with all of the answers, but I know what is wrong. Experts with more experience and years of texting research should have come up with the solution. Besides, the answer is much too simple.
The problem is not that Dick and Jane text. The problem is that Dick and Jane do not talk.
Let me explain. A normal cellular phone plan with enough talk time for a teenager or young adult is just too expensive. Instead, cellular phone companies provide enough talk for responsible adults but the children have to be appeased. “Walla!” they said. “Let’s give the teenagers and young adults FREE TEXTING. This way the cellular plan will be affordable for the adults (who pay the bills), and the teens and young adults can text their hearts out (while driving, too).
If states and municipalities want to change the bad habit of texting and driving, they must tax texting. This will put financial pressure on cellular companies to increase the cost of texting while decreasing talk time prices.
Then, Dick and Jane can talk (using hands-free devices) safely while driving.
Parents, if you want your children to live a long life and avoid major car accidents due to driving while texting, cancel the unlimited texting contracts. If necessary, cancel texting on your contract all together. I know that this is not a popular recommendation, but after all, parents are responsible for making very difficult decisions for the health, safety and welfare of their children. Sometimes, those decisions will not be neccesarily popular or accepting by the young adults. Oh, well. It’s for their own good.
And, by the way, as parents, we are also role models. The same advice goes for you, as a parent. No texting while driving. The children are watching you, and you are setting a horrific example!
Please pay for Dick and Jane to talk.