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Sunday, July 10, 2005

At least one wireless company understands the problem

Cingular wireless has published an article available at Drive Now, Chat later . It is about a program that they are sponsoring called "Be sensible: Don't drive yourself to distraction". Though the program targets specifically teens, I believe it applies equally to all drivers.

Teen Driving Program
Cingular Asks Teens to "Be Sensible"

Because we believe that distractions are an even greater issue for new drivers, Cingular produced a comprehensive in-class program free of charge for high school educators and driving schools called "Be Sensible: Don't drive yourself to distraction." This program teaches novice drivers how to manage all distractions and includes a video, detailed educator's guide, educational wall poster, and classroom activities. A free copy of the video "Be Sensible: Don't drive yourself to distraction" is available to all educators on request.

The teen driving program has reached an estimated 10.3 million students to date. The program is now in use in more than 17,500 high schools and professional driving schools across the country, and 99 percent of teachers who used the program say they will use it again.

In addition, senior education and safety administrators in 12 states (Maryland, Virginia, Maine, Ohio, Indiana, Georgia, New York, New Jersey, Mississippi, Kansas, Florida and Alabama) have accepted the program for statewide use.

View the teen driving safety video (requires Windows Media Player).

The program includes the technical assistance and counsel of the nation's top driver education advisors including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association (ADTSEA), and the Driving School Association of the Americas (DSAA).

NHTSA data shows drivers ages 16 to 20 years old are four times more likely to be involved in distraction-related collisions.

Tips for Teens

Cingular recommends that teens do not use a wireless device when driving during their graduated-licensing period except in the case of emergencies.

Cingular's teen driving program provides new drivers with the following tips on managing distractions while driving:

Ask passengers to help by changing the CD or radio station, placing a cell phone call, or reading directions for you.

If you don't have a passenger, wait until you come to a complete stop at a red light or stop sign before changing the CD or radio station.

If you must take or place a call, pull off the road, well away from traffic, into a safe, busy, well-lit area or let the call go to voice mail.

When picking up fast food, make the time to enjoy your food inside the restaurant or take the food home. If you're traveling with someone, take turns driving while the passenger eats.

Avoid stressful or emotional conversations while behind the wheel.
Don't be a "rubbernecker." Let your passengers do the sightseeing for you.

Like I stated above, these are great tip for teens. They are good habits to pick up early. But these tips are not just for teens when they start driving. These tips should be used as a guideline for everybody on the road. If people followed these rules, our roads would be a lot safer.


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