Driving While Texting Is Really Dangerous

True confession. I used to Twitter while driving. I’m not proud of it. In fact, texting while driving is now illegal in Tennessee. But I did it. Occasionally, I even revert to it. But after watching the video below, I am cured for good. (Thanks to Tim Stevens for bringing this to my attention.)

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When you think about it, “Driving While Texting” (DWT) is really stupid. In fact, U.K. researchers found that it is more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol or marijuana:

Research carried out on young drivers (aged 17-24) using a simulator found that reaction time slowed by 35% when they were writing or reading text messages while driving. In comparison, reaction time deteriorated by 21% for those under the influence of cannabis, and by 12% at the legal alcohol limit.”

If you are like most people, statistics like this are amazing—and then quickly forgotten. That’s why I am posting this video. Please take five minutes to watch it.

DWT not only puts your life at risk, it puts the lives of others at risk, including the people in your car, other vehicles, and innocent pedestrians. Surely, we value our own lives and the lives of others more than our need to compulsively be checking our messages, right?

Question: What did you think after watching the video?
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  • http://aaronreddin.com Aaron B. Reddin

    Wow. That's all.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I know. It actually moved me more the second time I watched it. I think I was visualizing my daughters in a wreck like this. It is sobering.

  • http://www.felicitywhite.com Felicity

    Reality check. Thanks for passing this along. My brother-in-law was cured of drive texting after working his first shift in the ER as a nurse. More than one fatality or major injury thanks to texting or reading texts. It just isn't worth it.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I agree. What does it say about our compulsive natures that we can't get from here to there without checking our cell phones.

  • http://www.godmessedmeup.blogspot.com pam hogeweide

    I also have texted or read texts while driving here in Portland, Oregon. Even on the freeway.
    And also talk on my mobile… It’s not illegal here yet.

    But earlier this summer I read Deep Survival. Just one decision could mean life or death in all the survival stories the author recounted.

    That connected the dots for me. So I made a decision to stop using or answering my phone while driving. It really was only a matter of time for an accident to happen… Thanks for posting this. Good public service awareness.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/KarlaAkins KarlaAkins

    I have never done the DWT but thata's only because I can't see my phone's script without glasses (I don't need glasses to drive, just to read). Thanks for the reminder and I twittered and tumbled this blog. I hope it saves lives.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Karla. I hope so, too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/debra.twardowski Debra Porter Twardowski

    I had posted this on FB the other day when my husband told me about it.

  • http://www.dailyreflectionsforsingleparents.blogspot.com/ Scoti Domeij

    Texting while driving hits a little too close to home. My favorite cousin’s 17-year-old granddaughter died while driving and texting. Distracted, she hit a tree and was killed instantly. Her devastated family and friends miss her.

    I wrote an article about this video entitled "Driving under the influence of texting: Will a new PSA video change texting behavior?" at
    http://www.examiner.com/x-16816-Colorado-Springs-

    The article drew over 600 hits. Another bit of info: The New York police ran a 24-hour crackdown on drivers texting or talking on the phone (which is similarly dangerous). They wrote 7,432 tickets, compared to 580 on a typical day.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Good for them. Before I saw this video, I was opposed to legislation against texting. I just hate the government trying to legislate everything. But then I realized how many innocent people can be hurt. Needless to say, I have completely changed my mind.

  • Cheryl Lemine

    Guilty and letting my phone catch a message from now on. I'm posting on my FB page. Sometimes those of us who are visual learners need it laid out for us in a graphic way.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      You can definitely put me in that category. I didn't really "get it” until I saw this. Wow.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Beaconhillnw Jim

    i saw this on Tim's blog last night…it hit me…won't ever,ever,ever text or check my blackberry again…thanks for posting this

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I have vowed the same!

  • http://www.kellycombs.com Kelly Combs

    It is now illegal in VA to text & drive as of July 1. But yes, guilty before then. I obey it now.

    The truth is, dialing your cell phone can be dangerous as texting. We need to pay attention to driving. It is already a multitasking operation, just watching out for everyone else and your self. Leave the cell out of it

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      We need to remember that cars are lethal weapons if not handled responsibly.

  • http://www.davidbmclaughlin.com davidbmclaughlin

    I think to make a better impact for kids they should have had someone who had really been impacted talk about it in addition to the dramatization. As powerful as it is (and it is) I wonder if younger kids see it the way we saw After School Specials.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Yea, that would be a powerful video, too. Probably both are needed.

  • http://www.kathleenmaciver.com Kathleen MacIver

    I saw this the other day. My first reaction was that it was dramatic, but probably what teens need to see. Then I realized that, while I don't text, I do allow myself to get distracted by other things, so it was a wakeup call.

  • http://www.kathleenmaciver.com Kathleen MacIver

    And then I read the comments on YouTube…people laughing 'cause it was funny, and I was reminded just how lost the world is, and how successfully the devil has twisted people's minds…

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      That's really, really disturbing—and nihilistic. Lord, have mercy!

  • http://moviepastor.com dave anderson

    I was addicted to my iPhone – text, tweet, mail, facebook while driving. I saw this last week on Facebook. (Not while driving though) This video SHOCKED me into the reality – not that I might get hurt – that I might hurt or kill someone else. I am done with it! This will be on my blog next week. Thanks.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Someone wrote to me that they were watching the video at a red light! "Houston, we have a problem!"

  • http://forrestlongart.com Forrest Long

    There should be a national ban on texting as well as talking on cell phones while driving. Both are hazardous to safe driving.

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  • Kurt Huffman

    Yawn. Great fake video to get a mesage across. But it could be driving while daydreaming; driving while applying lipstick; driving while shaving; driving while tuning the radio or CD or iPod; driving while getting serious attention from your passenger. The point is NOT “driving while texting” . . . the point is driving while distracted. I have even read the newspaper and not been distracted while driving (it’s an art), but I have seen people be distracted by the simplest and stupidest of things. Let’s punish bad drivers and bad driving. Let’s not punish responsible driving that others could not replicate because they are not skilled drivers.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/EricaHami EricaHami

    This hits so very close to home where I am at in life right now. I agree wholeheartedly that its not just about driving while texting though. There are so many other things people do while driving that are equally dangerous. People need to realize how important it is to be free of all distractions while driving. This week we buried a Mom and a Father-In-Law because a driver was distracted and hit them. You can read about a little of what we are dealing with here.. http://bit.ly/IOaHZ

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/patriciazell patriciazell

      God's comfort to your family. In your sorrow, know that the time is coming when death will be defeated and life will be forever. God will wipe away our tears when He swallows up death for all time (Isaiah 25:6-8). My prayers will be with you.

  • Blair

    Chilling… while I don't text while driving – soon to be against the law here in Toronto, Canada – what gripped me the most was the lifelessness of the baby. With three kids under eight that scares the heck out of me.

  • http://www.argyleandapricots.com Lori Zimbardi

    A gal in our church had a 24 year old sister who died a few weeks ago from a crash while texting. I have done it especially at stop lights and then continue as the light turns to finish my message. I have stopped since the death. I just could not imagine my girls losing me due to a stupid text I could have waited to send.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/jaledwith jaledwith

    I've texted while driving before, though only a couple times. I suppose it only takes once…

    I feel ill after watching that video.

  • http://twitter.com/RickYuzzi @RickYuzzi

    When I saw this video, the most heartbreaking part being a dad with two young ones was the little girl in the back asking when her parents would wake up. I don't text when driving (I don't text at all). I have done other things that had me looking away from the road for much too long, including just dialing the phone, and this PSA drives home how dangerous that is.

  • http://www.newyorkpersonalinjuryblog.com/ David Perecman

    Texting and driving is indeed dangerous and is illegal in some states. It is a good idea for PSAs like this to educate people about the dangers and make them understand that it is not just their life, but the lives of all other drivers, that are put at risk when you text at the wheel.

  • http://www.thehahnhuntinglodge.com Nikole Hahn

    Wow. Can anyone pass a tissue please?

    I have texted once unfortunately. I cannot see how anyone can do it while paying attention to the road. I have not texted since and will never text while driving. I have seen people do their make-up and hair while driving, eat a bowl of cereal, and am amazed that they cannot see how eratic and dangerous their driving becomes.

    I once tried to eat a burrito while driving. Bad idea. My clothes were peppered with burrito innards.

  • http://bit.ly/infinitlove Jonathan

    Michael,

    I actually decided to blog my response. You can check it out here:
    http://infinitlove.blogspot.com/2009/09/should-christians-text-while-driving.html

  • Don

    Another manipulative video for a fake campaign to generate worry over non-problems.

    Driving while distracted isn't a good idea. But it is NOT comparable to drunk driving. When you are drunk, you are impaired 100% of your driving experience, and you have no ability to snap back into safe operating mode. The most recent studies don't just advise that people should not text while driving, but that they should not talk on cell phones, even with headsets, because talking is distracting, slowing reaction times as much as alcohol.

    But, for all this hysteria over cell phones killing drivers, what to the statistics say? Auto collision fatalities have been steadily declining in the United States for the last 30 years, thanks to seat belts, air bags, and drunk driving law enforcement. The advent of the cell phone has not changed that trend.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      Can you cite your sources, please?

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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/drivesafely drivesafely

    I drive with full concentration and do not look at my mobile for reading incoming text messages. I use drivesafe.ly application with my mobile for listening to incoming messages.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1361691226 Caroline Taicher

      How do you get drive safely?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1361691226 Caroline Taicher

    BE KIND WHEREVER POSSIBLE….

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  • http://www.theworld4realz.com/ Andi-Roo

    Okay, I know this is an older article, but I just came across it while researching the Texting While Driving laws in different states. I couldn’t even sit through the entire vid, because it made me so dizzy I wanted to pass out. Which of course was the purpose. I’m making my teenager son watch this, along with all his friends. Great reminder for me to pay attention at the wheel — & excellent lesson for the youth of today growing up on technology. I’m still sick to my stomach over this, a half-hour after walking away from the computer. Thank you, though. 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeanne-Ruiz/100002538958342 Jeanne Ruiz

    I’m doing this same thing you doing, making my teenager son watch this, along with all his friends.
    Great reminder for me to pay attention at the wheel — & excellent
    lesson for the youth of today growing up on technology. I’m still sick
    to my stomach over this, a half-hour after walking away from the compute. http://www.drug-alcohol-rehabs.org/opiates-rehab-help.html