As we launch into the ‘100 deadliest days’ for car accidents, drivers need to pay attention to the road, and not their cellphones. While the Bible was written long before cars and smartphones, its verses still have something important to teach us about reckless habit of texting while driving.
1. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22)
Time reported on a recent study that questioned habitual texters. Almost 100% said that texting while driving is dangerous, yet a whopping 75% admitted doing it. Apparently many of us are “hearers”, but not “doers” of safe driving practices. If we believe that texting while driving is dangerous, we should be “doers of the word” and put our cell phones away.
2. “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth…” (Eccl. 12:1)
Young drivers should learn immediately to never text and drive. Texting while driving has been reported as the leading cause of death for teen drivers (CBS New York). A teen in Massachusetts was in a horrible accident because of texting just 2 days after getting his license, and while there were no fatalities, the woman he hit had to be taken away by helicopter. Her leg was shattered and her foot almost taken off (Fox25 Boston).
Even if youth is long past, we should remember our Creator when we get behind the wheel. Adults shouldn’t believe it is safe to text and drive simply because they are better drivers than teenagers. One study showed that adults with decades of driving experience were more likely to cross the center line when trying to text and drive (Washington Post).
3. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:6)
Those who don’t want their teens or grown children to text and drive need to set a good example. Studies have shown that more adults are guilty of texting while driving than teens (CNN). Other reports indicate that parents frequently set a bad example by driving while talking on the phone or texting, according to their teen children—almost half have seen a parent do one of these distracted driving habits (CNN).
4. “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Prov. 16:18)
Some people think that it’s dangerous for others to text and drive, but believe they can do it safely because they’re such great multitaskers. Over 25% of people have reported they can easily multitask while driving. Actually, research shows that the people who think they’re the best at multitasking are often the worst. (Fox News)
If we think we can safely text and drive because we’re better at it than other people, then we’re in a dangerous state of pride. Texting and driving can be incredibly destructive; just ask Utahn Reggie Shaw. He was distracted by texting when he killed two men, taking them away from their families and loved ones. He regrets it every single day, and has participated in a documentary that warns others of the dangers of distracted driving. (KSL)
5. “And the Lord said unto Cain: Where is Abel, thy brother? And he said: I know not. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen. 4:9)
Yes, we are our brother’s keeper when it comes to texting while driving, or at least the law is heading that way. Recent court rulings suggest that people could get sued for knowingly texting with someone who is driving if an accident occurs (Quartz).
Don’t text someone if you know they’re on the road and you think it’s likely they’ll read it while driving. Even if you would never get sued, it’s the responsible thing to do.
6. “And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” (Matt. 5:30)
Those who simply can’t resist texting when they’re behind the wheel should turn off their phone and put it in their glove box (or in the trunk if necessary!) It’s better to miss a text than to end up in an accident, and perhaps end up behind bars. Drivers who cause fatal wrecks because of texting are increasingly being sentenced to time in prison.
Aaron Deveau was convicted of motor vehicle homicide by texting; his sentence was 1 year in prison. His driver’s license was also suspended for 15 years (Deseret News). Jorene Nicolas was sentenced to 6 years in prison; she had sent 13 text messages in the minutes leading up to a fatal accident (ABC7 LA).
If your phone is “offending thee” or tempting you to text and drive, cast it off! It’s better than going to prison.
7. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” (Rev. 3:19)
If we know someone who texts and drives, we should love them enough to “rebuke” them!
A recent survey indicated that young drivers were three times more likely to read texts or post to social media when they were driving alone than when with a friend or parent (Auto Safety News) & (CNN). So even if we don’t think our friends and loved ones would ever text while driving, we should “rebuke and chasten” them a little over the dangers of it.
If we “rebuke” or remind someone to stop texting while driving, we should be sure they know it’s because we love them so much that we couldn’t bear to see them hurt or in jail.