We all know that driving under the influence is dangerous, but did you know that texting while driving is even more dangerous than drunk driving? Statistics show that distracted drivers account for more traffic accidents than those who are impaired by drugs and alcohol.
In this new age of communication, texting while driving is a growing problem in the U.S. and around the world, as more and more people are sending and receiving text messages on their cell phones. It is therefore essential to make intentional efforts to avoid texting while driving.
If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by a driver texting while driving, ensure you consult Leppard Law: Florida DUI Lawyers & Criminal Defense Attorneys PLLC for immediate help. Keep reading to discover the dangers of driving while texting.
Statistics on the Distracted/Texting While Driving Problem
Nearly two-thirds of all crashes are caused by driver distractions. Distracted driving has become a serious threat to road safety, and statistics show that it is a growing problem. According to the CDC, 60% of teenagers use their phones while driving and distraction-related crashes claim the lives of 3,000 people every year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that about 330,000 fatal accidents happen as a result of distracted driving.
NHTSA also reported that about 660,000 people use their phones while driving. Texting while driving distracts you for about five seconds which is long enough to travel the distance of a football field. This is too long a time to take your eyes and focus off the road.
Dangers of Texting and Driving
You Risk Hurting Other Drivers and Passers-by
Driving while texting not only endangers your life but that of other drivers and passers-by. According to the NHTSA, 723 passengers, 77 bicyclists, and 462 passers-by were killed as a result of distracted driving. They also reported that drivers under the age of 20 were more involved in distracted driving, followed by drivers between 25 to 34 years.
It Takes Time to Refocus on the Road
Although it takes five seconds to get your attention off the road, you need extra time to reorient back to the road and events around you. According to the AAA foundation, a driver will experience a hangover effect when they use their phones and it takes about 27 seconds for the effect to wear off.
Inexperienced Drivers Are At a Higher Risk
According to the CDC, many teenagers use their phones while driving. These teenagers are not as experienced as older drivers. They also lack the driving skills to see them through unexpected situations. Therefore, they are more susceptible to the dangers of distracted driving.
Consequences of Texting and Driving
Texting while driving is illegal in many states, and most states have settled for financial penalties which differ from one state to another. However, financial penalties are not applicable in some situations.
In situations that involve serious bodily injury, offenders may go to jail. This is especially true for school bus drivers and commercial drivers. The consequences may also be increased if you have been arrested for distracted driving more than once.
To understand the consequences of texting and driving in your state, you can review the U.S. texting and driving laws from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).
How to Prevent Texting And Driving
Develop a Pre-driving Routine
Before getting behind the wheel, check your phone for messages or emails that may distract you. If you see an urgent text, respond immediately and let the person know you’re driving and can’t continue with the conversation.
Prepare Your Directions
The best way to prevent texting and driving is to prepare ahead of time. If you don’t know your destination, ensure you check before you start driving. Knowing where you’re going will make it easier to focus on the road ahead of you.
Get Involved and Educate
To begin with, be a role model for your teenage children. If you text while driving, they will do it as well. It is up to each parent to educate their children about the dangers of texting and driving.
Based on the findings of numerous studies, it’s safe to say that texting while driving is just about as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. The fact is, you may be tempted to send that quick text message. However, before you do, remember that if an accident occurs while texting and driving, even a minor accident, you could face serious criminal charges.