Texting and Driving

Texting and Driving

Texting and Driving

 

Ever had to honk at a car in front of you at a red light because they’re not paying attention to the signal change? Or hear a car behind you slam on their breaks, stopping only inches away from your bumper as you watch them through your rear view? These are probably two results of a driver absorbed by their phone while texting and driving.

Texting while driving is a huge NO NO. According to the CDC, texting while driving combines all three types of driving distractions including visual, manual and cognitive, it is one of the most dangerous things to do behind the wheel1. Of course there are laws put into place in certain states2, such as forbidding the use of cell phone use in school zones or banning the use of cell phone usage while driving for minors, but although these laws decrease accidents caused by distracted drivers, they do not guarantee protection from accidents caused by texting and driving.  

Texting takes the driver’s attention away from the road for longer periods of time than any other distraction. The official US Government website for distracted driving states, “Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.”3

Distracted driving can be deadly and poses a huge threat to American lives. According to AAA, “…distraction contributes to 16% of all fatal crashes, leading to around 5,000 deaths every year.”4

Creating awareness about this issue is the only way to make a difference and put an end to texting a driving5. Remember, it can always wait!

What can you do to help?

Below are a few tips suggested by the FCC to prevent your household from engaging in texting and driving4:

·         Be the Example – Children and teens look up to their parents. No one, including adults should engage in distracted driving. If you must take a phone call or send an urgent text, pull over to do so.

·         Be Informed and Take a Stand – Read publications about distracted driving from reliable resources to learn how it is affecting the areas local to you. Spread the word to family, friends, and your community to buckle down on tolerance for distracted driving behaviors.

·         Set Rules for Your Household – Instruct your children old enough to drive to keep their phones put away while on the road, especially right before new drivers get their licenses. Inform them of the possible dangers resulting from removing their eyes from the road for only a few seconds.

 

Next time you think of sending a simple three word text while driving, remember it only takes 5 seconds of your attention taken away from the road to injure someone or even end a life.

References

1.    “Injury Prevention & Control: Motor Vehicle Safety- Distracted Driving” CDC.gov, last modified August 13, 2015, http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/.

2.    “Distracted Driving” Accessed April 4, 2017.

https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving

3.    “Facts and Statistics- What is Distracted Driving.” Accessed February 15, 2016. http://www.distraction.gov/stats-research-laws/facts-and-statistics.html

4.    “Distracted Driving.” Accessed February 15, 2016. https://www.aaafoundation.org/distracted-driving,

5.    “Facts and Statistics- What is Distracted Driving.”

6.    “Texting and Driving”. Last modified Wednesday, November 4, 2015. https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/dangers-texting-while-driving

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