Online chat may refer to any kind of communication over the Internet that offers a real-time transmission of text messages from sender to receiver. Chat messages are generally short in order to enable other participants to respond quickly. Thereby, a feeling similar to a spoken conversation is created, which distinguishes chatting from other text-based online communication forms such as Internet forums and email. Online chat may address point-to-point communications as well as multicast communications from one sender to many receivers and voice and video chat, or may be a feature of a web conferencing service.
Online chat in a less stringent definition may be primarily any direct text-based or video-based (webcams), one-on-one chat or one-to-many group chat (formally also known as synchronous conferencing), using tools such as instant messengers, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), talkers and possibly MUDs. The expression online chat comes from the word chat which means "informal conversation". Online chat includes web-based applications that allow communication –often directly addressed, but anonymous between users in a multi-user environment. Web conferencing is a more specific online service, that is often sold as a service, hosted on a web server controlled by the vendor.
Text messaging, or texting, is the act of typing and sending a brief, electronic message between two or more mobile phones or fixed or portable devices over a phone network. The term originally referred to messages sent using the Short Message Service (SMS); it has grown to include messages containing image, video, and sound content (known as MMS messages). The sender of a text message is known as a texter, while the service itself has different colloquialisms depending on the region. It may simply be referred to as a text in North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines, an SMS in most of mainland Europe, and a TMS or SMS in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Text messages can be used to interact with automated systems to, for example, order products or services, or participate in contests. Advertisers and service providers use direct text marketing to message mobile phone users about promotions, payment due dates, etcetera instead of using mail, e-mail or voicemail.
Road traffic safety refers to methods and measures for reducing the risk of a person using the road network being killed or seriously injured. The users of a road include pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, their passengers, and passengers of on-road public transport, mainly buses and trams. Best-practice road safety strategies focus upon the prevention of serious injury and death crashes in spite of human fallibility (which is contrasted with the old road safety paradigm of simply reducing crashes assuming road user compliance with traffic regulations). Safe road design is now about providing a road environment which ensures vehicle speeds will be within the human tolerances for serious injury and death wherever conflict points exist. Furthermore, the highest possible degree of safety shall be ensured when transporting goods by road. It is of vital importance to monitor and validate the road transportation safety, including comprehensive checks on drivers, vehicles and safety processes.
The basic strategy of a Safe System approach is to ensure that in the event of a crash, the impact energies remain below the threshold likely to produce either death or serious injury. This threshold will vary from crash scenario to crash scenario, depending upon the level of protection offered to the road users involved. For example, the chances of survival for an unprotected pedestrian hit by a vehicle diminish rapidly at speeds greater than 30 km/h, whereas for a properly restrained motor vehicle occupant the critical impact speed is 50 km/h (for side impact crashes) and 70 km/h (for head-on crashes).
Texting while driving is the act of composing, sending, reading text messages, email, or making other similar use of the web on a mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle. The practice has been viewed by many people and authorities as dangerous, and in some places has been outlawed or restricted. Texting while driving leads to increased distraction behind the wheel. In 2006, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group conducted a survey of more than 90 teens from more than 26 high schools nationwide. The results showed that 37% of students consider texting to be "very" or "extremely" distracting. A study by the American Automobile Association discovered that 47% of teens admitted to being distracted behind the wheel because of texting. This distraction is alarming, because 40% of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger. A study involving commercial vehicle operators conducted in September of 2009 concluded that though incidence of texting within their dataset was low, texting while driving increased the risk of accident significantly.
Texting has become a social norm fairly quickly since the year 2000, as most cell phone plans include a text messaging package. The popularity of smartphones, which allow people to communicate in even more ways, increases the likelihood of usage. It cannot be contested that text messaging and other forms of text communication on mobile phones offer a level of convenience that cannot be matched. The dilemma is at what point do we chose safety over convenience. Many studies have linked texting while driving to the cause of life-threatening accidents due to driver distraction. The International Telecommunication Union states that “texting, making calls, and other interaction with in-vehicle information and communication systems while driving is a serious source of driver distraction and increases the risk of traffic accidents”.