Texting application addresses AAA caution that texting while driving is as dangerous as drunken driving

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

"Many law enforcement agencies now say that DWT (Driving While Texting) is the new DUI.” - Erik Wood, CEO of Otter App

Recent statistics released by the Center for Disease Control bring encouraging news that there has been a decline in the fatality rate of teens aged 17-18 in automobile accidents from 2004-2008.

This report also indicates that the decline in teen fatalities is more than likely a factor of economic pressure to conserve spending, and so teens are not driving as much and/or are delaying obtaining their driver’s licenses.

Other reasons credited for the decline in fatalities is graduated license programs (provisional licenses) and parental involvement.

Experts caution parents to be ever vigilant nevertheless because the battle to save young lives is far from over.

Officer Adrian Quintero of the California Highway Patrol, South Valley Division in Sacramento, believes that the education and awareness programs being promoted by the CHP and other organizations like Impact Teen Drivers of Sacramento make a difference.

“As we get the word out through various organizations including insurance companies, more awareness and parental involvement does make a difference.  We strive for zero loss of life – there is still much more to do,” Quintero said.

Wayne Adkins is the owner of Stop ‘N Go Driving ‘N Traffic School in Roseville.

"Parents need to understand with driving that more education is necessary to prevent fatal accidents from happening,” - Wayne Adkins, Owner Stop 'N Go Driving 'N Traffic School

“I believe the decline of teen fatalities is a result of tough economic times, from the  media exposure to this epidemic as well as additional programs such as Start Smart and Impact Teen Drivers. Parents need to understand with driving that more education is necessary to prevent fatal accidents from happening,” Adkins said.

Reinforcing this concern, yesterday the American Automobile Association released a warning that texting while driving is as dangerous as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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One parent of two small children, Erik Woods in Seattle, Washington, developed a text life management application  called Otter, so folks can be safe on the road and also concentrate on other personal business such as homework and family time.

“Parents can’t relax after reading this CDC report,” Woods said, “We need to keep hammering away about the social and safety issues that revolve around distracted driving.  My concern here is that in order for the same positive report to be generated in 2012, we need to address texting while driving with the same tenacity that we have with other causes of teen accidents.  Many law enforcement agencies now say that DWT (Driving While Texting) is the new DUI.”

Erik Wood, inventor of Otter, with his daughter Eve. Otter text application helps you to take charge of your texting life.

Woods and his wife, Corina, experienced first hand how dangerous texting while driving can be. They emptied their children’s college fund to develop the Otter App after their three-year old daughter Eve was nearly killed by a grown woman texting in October of 2009.

Check out the demo on YouTube: It’s a tool, not a shackle.

 

Woods developed Otter with the idea that self-governing citizens who have the tools to manage their texting life will less likely to lead a distracted life – which is dangerous, especially while driving.

The Woods’ made the application affordable and simple: $3.99 for a one time fee to download.

 

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Joanna Jullien jullien@surewest.net

Photo: Christy Benz

Joanna married her high school sweetheart and over the past 25 years they have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from UC Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture) and has over 20 years experience as a professional manager in information technology, manufacturing, energy and environment.

Joanna writes on parenting in the 21st century, as she has observed and personally experienced many strains on the parent-child relationship with the advent of the Internet, mobile phones and popular culture.

 

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About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna (jullien@surewest.net) and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.

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