If you've been seeing an 'X' pop up in your texts lately, this is what you need to know about it.

The way they tell us about it is kinda funny ... but the message behind it is no laughing matter.

Texting and driving is a problem pretty much everyone is strongly against, but if we're really honest with ourselves, many of us have done it at least once.

When it comes to texting and driving, we've only had two (kinda crappy) options in the past. Now there's an awesome new third option when it comes to texting and driving.

Meet Joe. His mom has just sent him a text, but he's about to start driving.


Don't do it, Joe! Don't do it!

Option 1 is to ignore her text until he arrives at his destination.

He might come across as a jerk for cutting off their conversation. His mom might even start worrying because he suddenly stops responding (you know, because texting and driving can be dangerous). But he decides this is the best course of action. It's safer. Even if it makes his mom worry a bit.

Diagram 1: Mom worrying a bit

Option 2 is to sneak a quick text, maybe at a red light or when there's not much traffic around.

We might think we know how to text and drive safely, and we tell ourselves, "I'll just do it this one time." But the reality is we're risking lives. And not just our lives.

Diagram 2: Texting while driving and/or at a red light

Option 3 is the newest option, and one I hope more people embrace. It's called #X.

It's a movement that was originally created by the It Can Wait campaign to prevent texting and driving, and now it's taking off. Celebrities like Demi Lovato and Rascal Flatts have helped to make the #X movement mainstream.

Diagram 3: Hashtag X

When you're about to start driving, send the person you were texting a "#X" message to let them know that you're about to drive and you'll respond once you've stopped.

FACT: Cell phones are involved in about 1.6 million auto-related accidents annually.

Pause your conversation to save your life and someone else's.

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Facebook / Mikhail Galin

Putting your pet in cargo during a flight isn't always safe. In 2016, the Department of Transportation reported a total of 26 pet deaths and 22 injuries on flights. Because conditions in cargo can be uncomfortable for animals, the Humane Society recommends taking your pet aboard when you fly, or just leaving it at home.

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