How many of us text while driving? How many of us feel we are in absolute control when texting while driving? Let’s not kid ourselves. It is dangerous, unnecessary, and illegal in some states. Fourteen states have already outlawed texting while driving and more are trying to ban this practice. Texting on the road has become one of the most common distractions for drivers. Add this to an already long list of distractions and driving is not getting any easier or safer. Texting is even worse than talking on a cell phone in terms of distraction because it requires not only that you use your hands to type but also that you look down at the screen while texting. This reduces your ability to focus on the road and what’s around you, as well as your steering. In some cases, drivers even take both hands off the wheel to text, seriously impairing their ability to control their vehicle.
There have been a host of studies and research dedicated to this practice. Review the following statistics and hopefully it opens your eyes a bit to the dangers of texting while driving.
- Drivers using cell phones are as likely to cause an accident as someone with a blood alcohol level of 0.08. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
- Vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of job-related fatalities in the United States. (American Society of Safety Engineers)
- Drivers of heavy trucks are 23 times more likely to be involved in a collision if texting while driving. (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute)
- The likelihood of a collision for all drivers increases six-fold upon reaching for a cell phone. (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute)
- 35% of motorists feel that they are less safe on the road than five years ago and that distracted driving is a significant threat to their safety. (AA Foundation for Traffic Safety)
The National Institutes of Health qualifies texting while driving as one of the forms of impaired driving, along with fatigue, impairment by drugs and alcohol, and medical conditions that affect driving. It also recommends that if you do need to send a text message to pull over before doing so.
Let’s remember folks: Be safe. Make good decisions. Think of your family. Think of yourselves.
Your safety, as well as the safety of others, is dependent upon your full attention behind the wheel.