Personally, I don’t use my phone for anything while driving in the USA (I’m not licensed to drive in China and don’t own a car), but there are times when I am in a vehicle where the driver is using a mobile device. It doesn’t seem like a big deal to make a call or answer a simple text message, but there have been plenty of studies demonstrating that even talking on a mobile device impairs driving ability. Looking away from the road to tap out a message on a phone or read a text is simply irresponsible and potentially life threatening.
In an effort to raise awareness to the hazards of texting while driving, AT&T made a ten-minute documentary titled “The Last Text” about how the lives of four teenagers were forever altered by a few simple words in a text. It also highlights the cost of those text messages on the lives of friends, family and even complete strangers. It is worth watching and even more worthwhile watching with your older children and discussing it as a family. You can view the documentary video on YouTube here and visit the AT&T website here to learn more about the safety campaign.
When I was growing up as a kid, I always wore my seatbelt, but it took years of prodding my father to get him to do the same. If you text or make phone calls while driving, I hope you will consider this my prod to ask you to stop doing it. Whatever it is, it can wait until you pull over. As this video shows, the risks are far greater than we imagine. Now I just need to iron out my next Chinese lesson – how to get cab drivers to put away their phones.