Beyond Distracted Driving: When Texting Is a Bad Idea

Text messaging can be a legitimate health risk, even outside of distracted driving. Here, tips to curb the bad habit.

View as Slideshow


Don't text while walking.

Don't text while walking.istock/Likoper
A recent report from The Atlantic reveals that one in three people don't look up from their phones while crossing the street; other studies explain that in 2011, there were 1,500 people who reported cell phone-related injuries while walking and that over 9 percent of them were texting while injured.

Don't text while driving, even "hands-free."

Don't text while driving, even "hands-free."istock/Geber86
Smartphones now offer ways to send text messages with your voice, but don't think you're safe just because your fingers aren't on your phone. A recent study by the AAA found that hands-free devices like bluetooth headsets—widely purported to make cell phone conversations safer on the road—actually don't make much of a difference when it comes to your ability to pay attention.

Don't text instead of talking.

Don't text instead of talking.istock/BraunS
According to a CNN report, developmental psychologists worry that habitual texting as opposed to actual talking could negatively impact interpersonal skills.

Content continues below ad

Don't text at the dinner table.

Don't text at the dinner table.Paolo Cipriani
It's not unhealthy, but it's rude. Restaurant-goers who were irritated by distracted friends have pioneered the phone stack: the first person who picks up their cell pays the bill.

Don't text at a red light.

Don't text at a red light.istock/monticelllo
You're stopped, but you're still controlling a vehicle weighing several thousand pounds and need to be ready for anything. Try an app like Cellcontrol, which uses technology to block talking or texting while you're in the car.

Don't text ... at the gas station?

Don't text ... at the gas station?istock/Don Bayley
This urban legend has been around for a while, of cell phones sparking an explosion at the pumps. According to Snopes, there has never been an actual report of it happening; still, why risk it?

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you this newsletter. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Funny Jokes

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

Funny Jokes

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

Funny Jokes

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


Funny Jokes

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.