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8 Ways to Kick Your Texting and Driving Habit

Every driver ‒ and every passenger ‒ expects to reach their destination safely.

But picking up your phone to read or answer a text while you’re behind the wheel puts everyone’s safety in jeopardy.

At any point during the day, it’s estimated that around 660,000 drivers are on their phones. In the U.S., texting and driving causes a quarter of all car accidents. And teen drivers are four times more likely than adults to have accidents or near-accidents when they’re on their phones.

Want another eye-opener? You’re six times more likely to cause an accident when you’re texting behind the wheel than a drunk driver!

The silver lining? This is a habit that can easily be broken.

Here are eight tips that can help you ‒ or a driver you care about ‒ overcome the temptation once for all, while doing your part to keep the roadways a lot safer.


  1. Remember: Silence is golden. Before you start the ignition, put your phone on silent mode and make sure it’s not on vibrate. Another option: turn your phone off altogether. Both options will eliminate the temptation to check your screen every time it rings, pings or buzzes.
  2. Hang up your “do not disturb” sign. Well, figuratively anyway. On most smartphones, you have the option to turn on some form of a do not disturb mode while you’re driving. Do your research to find out how to enable this on your phone. There are even apps you can download to block texts while you’re behind the wheel, including ones specifically geared toward teen drivers.
  3. Make it out of sight, out of mind. Rather than having your phone in your cup holder, your center console, or (cringe) your hand, put it in a spot where you can’t see or reach it.
  4. Ask for help. If you have a passenger or two with you, ask them to keep an eye on your phone and handle any calls or messages you receive. If you’re a passenger rather than a driver, volunteer for the job ‒ and call out the driver if they’re being unsafe.
  5. Put it in park. If it’s absolutely vital to respond to a message, find a place to safely pull over, then park and answer.
  6. Model safe behavior. Talk to your kids about the dangers of texting and driving, explain the ways they can avoid it, then put your money where your mouth is.
  7. Set and enforce rules. If you have a teen driver in the house, make your expectations clear about how they’re allowed to use their phone in the vehicle and be very specific about what will happen if they break those rules. If you catch your teen doing it, enforce those consequences ‒ every time.
  8. Enroll in our new YourTurn® program.  Need an extra incentive? ERIE Insurance has a safe driving app called “YourTurn” and it’s available to all ERIE customers. The app measures criteria such as speeding, hard braking and phone usage – and you can earn rewards based on your driving score (up to $5 or $10 every two weeks). This helps to make drivers of all ages more aware of their driving behaviors and identifies areas for improvement.


ERIE’s YourTurn program is a new way for them to look out for you and help you stay safe on the road. Contact us today to learn more about ERIE Insurance and to sign up for the YourTurn program. If you choose to join the program, you’ll receive a YourTurn welcome text and instructions for getting started.