Would you ever drive the length of a football field at 55 mph blindfolded? Well that’s essentially what you’re doing when texting while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting behind the wheel takes a driver’s eye off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, which is the time it takes to go from one end zone to the other. Dangerous? Incredibly. Deadly? You bet. Texting while driving has now replaced drinking and driving as the leading cause of death among teenage drivers.
Teenagers are not the only ones guilty. According to a survey conducted, 49 percent of American adult drivers admitted they text while driving. In that same survey, more than 90 percent of drivers know texting while driving is dangerous. So why are we still doing it? Experts believe we compulsively check our phones because every time we get an alert on our phone our brain sends out a signal that makes us feel happy. Drivers are saying they continue to do this because it’s a habit, like to stay connected and it makes them feel more productive. States are now enforcing strict texting while driving laws and public service. Here are some stats and tips on how we can end texting while driving:
- More than 3,000 teens die each year in crashes caused by texting while driving.
- Cell phones are involved in 1.6 million auto crashes each year that cause a half million injuries and take 6,000 lives.
- Truck drivers are 23 times more likely to be in an accident when texting behind the wheel.
- It’s 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 reach for their cell phones while driving.
- 48 percent of young drivers have seen their parents text while driving
- Using a cell phone while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent.
How you can help
- Lead by example
- Don’t send or respond to a text message while driving or at 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 in park
- Always stay focused on the road when driving
- Speak out if you are in the 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’s very easy for law enforcement to subpoena a cell phone company and check your account to see if you were texting.
- Such fines may also increase your auto insurance premiums.
If you need further assistance and/or if you have any questions about this, feel free to contact us.