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Health Information For Teens
No matter how young and agile we are, the human brain just can’t do several things at once and give full attention to all of them. So you can get into some major danger if you try to text in situations that require your full focus.
The problem happens when you try to multitask. When you text, you’re thinking about what to say, concentrating on what your thumbs are doing, and reading incoming messages rather than paying attention to what you’re doing or where you’re going. And that definitely ups your risk of getting hurt or injuring others.
It doesn’t matter if you can text without looking at the keypad. Even if texting feels like second nature, your brain is still trying to do two things at once — and one of them is bound to get less attention.
Texting also prevents you from paying close attention to what’s going on around you, something that’s especially important in situations where you need to have your guard up, like walking home after dark. Your reaction time is also likely to be much slower if you’re texting. If you’re about to run into someone or something else, you may not have time to act before it’s too late.
Texting while walking can lead to injury, like stepping hard off a curb or walking into something. Texting is believed to play a role in many pedestrian injuries. In fact, “distracted walking” has become such a problem that some areas are banning texting while walking.
Texting behind the wheel is even more dangerous. Police and other authorities often use a driver’s phone records to check for phone and text activity in the seconds and minutes before a crash.
When people text while behind the wheel, they’re focusing their attention — and often their eyes — on something other than the road. In fact, driving while texting can be more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Texting while driving is against the law in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Many states ban any cellphone use by new drivers. Besides being cited for texting, if you swerve all over the place, cut off cars, or bring on a collision, you also could be charged with reckless driving. That may mean a big fine, a lost license, or even jail time if you cause a fatal crash.
It’s hard to live without texting. So the best thing to do is manage how and when we text, choosing the right time and place.
Here are some ways to make sure your messaging doesn’t interfere with your focus — or your life:
These defensive driving skills can help you avoid the dangers caused by other people’s bad driving.
If a texting driver is making you nervous but you’re not sure how to bring the topic up, here are some ideas.
Find out what the experts have to say.
Sending and receiving messages late at night can disrupt your sleep and leave you tired and unfocused when it’s time for school.
The virtual world is full of opportunities to interact with people around the world. It’s also a place where nothing is temporary. Here are some tips for safeguarding your online identity.
Using technology to bully is a problem that’s on the rise. The good news is awareness of how to prevent cyberbullying is growing even faster. See our tips on what to do.
Whether it’s protecting yourself from hackers or cyberbullies, these tips for teens will help you navigate the digital world safely.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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