Texting and driving, also called distracted driving involves the composing, receipt, and sending of texts while driving. It is a multi-tasking affair because you are trying to maintain control of the steering wheel and texting.
In recent times, the dangers of driving while texting has been one of the causes of auto crashes. In a publication, Statista noted that “phones are America’s driving distraction No.1.” This proves that an average American driver might be at the risk of an auto crash just by using his or her phone while driving.
All over the world, the rate of road accidents and related deaths emanating from texting and driving is on the increase. In this article, we enlighten you on the dangers of driving and texting. With the information, you would realize the dangers of distracted driving and how to stay safe.
What are the Dangers of Texting While Driving?
Let us now talk about some of the dangers of driving while texting in the United States. Below are some of these dangers and why you should avoid them.
1. Texting while Driving Takes off Your Eyes from the Road for Long
The average time it should take a driver to look away from the road is 2 seconds. It is because of the estimated interval of 5 seconds for an auto accident to happen. By looking away for 2 seconds, you may be able to regain sight before anything happens.
But that isn’t always the case when you text and drive. It takes anywhere between 5 seconds and 12 seconds to type a text or reply to a message. You can see that this is up to 3 times the average time you should look away from the road.
What if there is an incoming car within that time? How would be able to regain control of your vehicle in such a short time?
Coupled with the fact that the car can cover the length of a football field at 88.5 kilometers per hour, it is too long a time. within 5 seconds, you can cover that length and that could mean traveling faster with your eyes shut.
2. The Risk of Totaling Your Car
Both the car and the passengers (the driver inclusive) are at a risk. You could be at the risk of totaling your car if you drive while texting.
In that case, your car would not only be damaged but would take a lot of money and time to get fixed.
Such huge damage and expense for a few seconds of distracted driving!
3. Driving while Texting Kills Thousands of People
According to NHTSA, a total of 3,142 persons were killed by distracted driving in 2020. The drivers of the accident vehicles were distracted, mostly texting while driving. You could imagine the thousands of lives lost yearly simply because a driver refused to keep his or her hands away from the phone.
4. Drivers who Drive and Text Break the Law
In some states, texting and driving are not allowed. In Florida for instance, you risk paying a fine and getting a speeding ticket when you drive and text.
Interestingly, it doesn’t end there. If your vehicle is insured, it would mean another problem. Your auto insurance company would likely increase your premiums because you are now a high-risk policyholder.
5. Driving while Texting Impacts Your Insurance Rates
As mentioned earlier, your car insurer would increase your rates. In addition to that, the company would see you as a high-risk driver who could potentially get into an accident, thereby, costing them a fortune.
You don’t want to be in that position where you are now “on the radar” of your car insurance company.
6. Distracted Driving is Common Among Younger Drivers
Younger drivers between the ages of 16 and 25 are at a higher risk of getting distracted while driving. They are more inclined to reply to a text when driving.
For this set of drivers, they believe they can use their phones and pay attention to the road at the same time. That is not always the case because they sometimes end up putting themselves, the pedestrians, and passengers at risk.
Dangers of Texting and Driving Statistics
Every accident on U.S. roads involves humans and most of them are youngsters. With more of the younger population inclined to text behind the wheels, you can see that we have a “national driving disorder.” If not addressed, we would have more of our young ones dying from auto crashes, or ending up with broken legs and ribs.
Here are some stats to prove why you should not text while driving:
1. External Victims
Sometimes, the victims of distracted driving aren’t even the ones in the vehicle. Typically, 2 persons in a group of 10 are more susceptible to becoming victims.
These persons include pedestrians and cyclists who may be using the same pathway as the distracted driver.
2. Truck Drivers are More Distracted
Truck drivers are the most distracted drivers. As such, their risk of getting into an accident is 23 times higher than a passenger vehicle.
3. Driving and Texting is Common with Women
It has been discovered that women are more inclined to text while driving than men. So, we can say more women are likely to get into an accident because of distracted driving than men would.
4. Distracted Driving is Slowly Replacing Drunk-Driving
Texting while driving is fast becoming a “replacement” for drunk driving. Nowadays, there are more recorded rates of texting and driving than drunk driving.
Besides, it has been widely reported that more younger drivers are likely to die from distracted driving.
At a glance, about 3,000 teenage drivers die from distracted driving as opposed to about 2,700 deaths arising from drunk driving.
5. Distracted Driving + No Seatbelts: A Deadly Combo
The primary instruction before driving a car is to “put on your seatbelt.” However, this isn’t always obeyed, especially among the younger driving population.
With an increase in smartphone usage, while driving, we can only imagine the risks these teens put themselves through.
In the absence of a seatbelt, a teenage driver has an increased chance of losing control of the control – or getting thrown out of the car when an accident occurs.
The Effects of Driving while Texting in a Mobile World
The world is now mobile, you can text anyone from any part of the world. With an increase in smartphone usage, the risks of distracted driving stare us in the face.
Our younger population is at a higher risk of getting into an auto crash, while the older population tries to become more intentional about phone usage when driving.
Even at that, we have another challenge – eating while driving. Be it snacks or cooked meals, these are some of the factors that contribute to distracted driving.
As a driver, learn to fasten your seatbelt, keep your phones in silent mode while driving and avoid eating while driving.
The dangers of driving while texting stares us in the face every day. We must make conscious efforts to become better drivers and to stay safe on our roads.
How Dangerous is Driving while Texting?
Driving while texting is very dangerous and is one of the major factors for road accidents in the United States. Over 3,000 lives were lost in 2020 just because of this.
Does Texting and Driving Cause Accidents?
Yes, texting while driving can put you at the risk of an accident. Asides from losing control of the vehicle, you may also over-speed and end up getting a speeding ticket.
What are the Negative Effects of Driving and Texting?
Some of the negative effects of driving and texting are getting a speeding ticket, getting into an accident, crashing your vehicle, and paying higher insurance rates.