With tragic stories reported regularly, it boggles the mind why people still text and drive. No matter how many teens are killed because they couldn’t resist the lure of text notifications, you would think people would get the message, figuratively speaking, that is. They don’t, and the epidemic of distracted driving remains a major cause of automobile accidents. If you text and drive, stop. If you think it doesn’t affect how you drive, here are four stats to contradict your stance.
Distracted driving causes fatal accidents. In fact, studies show that 18 percent of auto fatalities are caused by distracted drivers. Other causes include driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and falling asleep at the wheel. This being said, sending or reading text messages while driving pulls your attention away from what is going on in front of, behind, and beside you, and this is the perfect recipe for the disaster of an automobile accident. One for which you will be at fault.
2. How it Distracts You
When you pick up your phone to check the text message that just came in, you pull your manual dexterity, mental acuity, and vision off your driving and onto your phone. This is why the dangers of texting and driving cannot be overstated. When you reply, if you don’t reply using voice text messaging, you also pull your hands off your steering wheel to type out your text. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how easily you can cause an accident during this time, no matter how brief.
3. A Matter of Time
Depending on the length of the text message, reading it alone can take your vision off the road for four seconds or longer. It only takes one second to hit the person in front of you, whether another vehicle or pedestrian. If you are on the freeway driving 55 mph, you will drive the length of a football field while reading your text. At 55 mph, you drive 80 feet/second. Would you drive a football field without your eyes on the field intentionally? You are if you’re reading a text while driving.
If you must read a text message while behind the wheel, pull over. There is no excuse to place yourself and others in danger because you cannot resist text messaging while driving. Even better, invest in Bluetooth technology for your vehicle that allows you to read and write your text messages hands-free through Siri, Hey Google, Cortana, or other artificial intelligence. Do not become part of the stats in this article. Do not text and drive, period.
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