The Boiling Point

Just turn it off

The BP Editorial Board

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Buckle up. Adjust your mirrors. Fix your seatback. These are some routine things you do before turning the key to the ignition. Why would it be so hard to add turn off your cell before you shift into gear.

Over 4,000 accidents a day occur in the United States that are caused by drivers who were texting, many of them fatal. That’s 4,000 too many considering how easy it would be to avoid them by ignoring that flashing light on a cell phone.

Recently, laws in California were enacted to protect drivers; among these laws were bans on cell phone use for minors and texting for everyone.

Some of us are too young to drive, but those of us who do understand how difficult it is to maintain focus on thousands of other drivers on the road. Occasionally we have someone else in the car and we become responsible for them too. Should safety come at the expense of an “LOL :))”? Of course not.

What compels us to text at any point en route? Is it our generation’s obsession to not have our phones out of sight for any length of time at all?  When conversations are instant, they never really end. So we continue them in our sparest of time. Red lights. Stop-and-go traffic. It just isn’t safe.

Whenever a company comes out with a new feature to “enhance user safety,” young people have a tendency to pass it off as invasive and dumb. Seatbelts. Parental controls. But now there is DriveSmart. And it could save lives.

DriveSmart is a minimally invasive device that will keep drivers, young and old, focused on driving by delaying text message receipt during travel. DriveSmart is useful to those of us who may feel the impulse to send a quick one while driving. And like seatbelts and airbags, neither of which were particularly popular when they first emerged, it could make the difference between life and death.

Or, be responsible and just turn it off. Or glove-compartment it. Out of sight, out of reach, wherever. As long as that fate-of-the-world “Heyy” doesn’t compromise safety or focus. Make this part of your routine. Because when your lives, and the lives of your passengers, are on the line, you can’t afford to answer that text.

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Just turn it off