We all know by now that drinking and driving is against the law, and it kills people. Despite decades of evidence that drinking and driving is dangerous, it still happens. 32 people in the United States are killed every day in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver—this is one death every 45 minutes. On a positive note, it seems the “designated driver” concept has grown and has become a normal topic of discussion for more people. Designated drivers save lives.
Let’s shift gears to texting and driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that driving while texting is six times more dangerous than driving drunk. Reading or sending a text takes your eyes off the road for about five seconds. Yet, texting and driving remains more socially acceptable than drinking and driving. Those of you who expect instant responses to your texts play a part in this. You know who you are.
If you have to text and drive, bring along a designated texter. This is a real thing. Google it. Someone in your car who is using your phone to send and receive texts for you. You tell them who to text what to, and they read texts to you and send them for you. The rule is: they can’t distract you by showing you the text, even if it’s a picture or video. In my experience, it’s a blast because Mrs. Michael is my designated texter. She sees some pretty silly stuff on my phone. And to ensure our safety, I don’t take my eyes off the road to see her roll her eyes (mostly because I can hear her mutter, “You and your man humor.”). A fringe benefit: I find it very humorous when she occasionally says, “No, I’m not typing that!”, even though it’s not really HER!
We get tagged as late adopters on technology and new concepts in general here in the Midwest. And we’ve gotten along just fine, thank you California. However, the designated texter is one thing I’d like to see us embrace immediately!