Texting While Driving – The Dangers

Person texting and driving with look of panic

Texting while driving. Many cell phone owners are guilty of this, whether they choose to admit it or not. It’s so tempting in a world of instant gratification to just check to see who is messaging or to send out a quick reply to the boss or even to a friend while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, texting while driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do in your car. Taking your eyes off the road for even a second can spell disaster. Here, we will look at the dangers of texting while driving.

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The Facts

According to the FCC, distracted driving has increased exponentially since mobile devices became popular. Distracted driving due to mobile devices can lead to injury or even loss of life. In fact, it is the cause of eighteen percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes. According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, texting while driving increases a driver’s crash risk by 23 times compared to driving undistracted. Astonishingly, in drivers ages eighteen to twenty who were involved in auto accidents and survived, some eleven percent admit that they were in the process of sending or receiving a text at the time of the crash. These statistics are terrifying when you stop to think about them, and they help highlight just how texting and driving endangers both the life of the person texting and the lives of others on the road.

Did you know that if you take your eyes off the road for only five seconds while driving 55 miles per hour, you have driven the length of an entire football field without looking at the road? When you think of it this way, it is easy to see how many drivers you are putting at risk and just how long five seconds can be when you aren’t paying attention. You wouldn’t close your eyes and drive that far, so why do it while looking at your phone?

Another alarming statistic is that in 2011, some twenty-three percent of car crashes involved cell phones. That equals some 1.3 million crashes, all due to mobile devices! That should be enough to scare any driver, yet seventy-seven percent of young adults say that they are very or at least somewhat confident that they can text while driving in a safe manner, and fifty-five percent claim that it is easy. Unfortunately, there is really no such thing as safe texting and driving. In fact, teens spending their time texting while driving are shown to spend about ten percent of that time driving outside of their lane! Of course, texting while driving isn’t just limited to teens. Some twenty-seven percent of adults admit that they have sent and received text messages while driving. Many more admit to using the phone while they drive, and one in five drivers even admits to surfing the web while driving! With so many deaths and accidents caused by the use of mobile devices while driving, it is hard to justify their use while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

The Risks Aren’t Worth It

Simply put, the amount of risk you incur by texting while driving simply isn’t worth the instant gratification of reading or responding to a text that could easily wait until you reach your destination. Texting while driving leads to countless accidents every year, including an alarming number of deaths and thousands upon thousands of injuries. Nobody should put their lives at risk or risk the lives of others for a simple mobile device, so if you can’t resist the sound your phone makes when you get a text, you might be better off to just turn off the phone whenever you are in the car.

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