Texting and Driving
Would you ever drive along a football field at 55 miles per hour blindfolded? Well, that’s basically what you do when you send text messages while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sending text messages behind the wheel causes the driver to be distracted from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, which is the time it takes to go from an extreme area to the other. Dangerous? Incredibly. Mortal? Of course. Texting while driving now has replaced drinking and driving as the leading cause of death among teenage drivers.Teenagers are not the only ones. According to a survey conducted, 49 percent of adult American drivers admitted to texting while driving. In that same survey, more than 90 percent of drivers know that texting while driving is dangerous.
So, why do we keep doing it? Experts believe that we compulsively check our phones because every time we receive an alert on our phone, our brain sends a signal that makes us feel happy. Drivers say they continue to do this because it is a habit, they like to stay connected and make them feel more productive.
Here are some statistics and tips on how we can stop texting while driving:
- More than 3,000 teenagers die every year in accidents caused by text messages while driving.
- Cell phones are involved in 1.6 million car accidents each year that cause half a million injuries and take 6,000 lives.
- Truck drivers are 23 times more likely to be in an accident when they send text messages behind the wheel.
- It is estimated that 40 percent of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that puts people in danger.
- Women are more likely than men to look for their cell phones while driving.
- 48 percent of young drivers have seen their parents’ text while driving
- Using a cell phone while driving, either hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration in the legal limit of .08 percent.
How I can help?
Lead by example
- Do not send or respond to a text message while driving or in a red light; doing so puts you and others at risk and may even be against the law.
- Turn off your phone and put it in your pocket or purse; only use it when the car is parked.
- Always stay focused on the road when driving
- Talk to the driver if you are in a car with someone who is texting behind the wheel.
- Spread the word to promote safety in your community
- Texting while driving will cost you
It is very easy for law enforcement to summon a cell phone company and verify your account to see if it was sending text messages.
These fines can also increase the cost of your car insurance.
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