Drivers take on a huge responsibility every time they get behind the wheel of a car. Every time someone texts and drives, they are putting everyone around them in danger. Not only is it illegal in 47 states to text and drive because of the dangers of distracted driving, but it is also illegal to use your phone for any reason at all while driving in California.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a survey showed that many car accidents and near-crashes happen because of cell phone use, including taking a call, sending a text, or even checking an email. The Federal Communications Commission reports that at any given moment, approximately 660,000 drivers are using their cell phones while driving. In response to these alarming statistics, hands-free settings in phones and vehicles were developed for greater driver safety.
Even with hands-free phone use, you still have to be alert when driving. A National Safety Council (NSC) study reports that researchers have found that people are cognitively distracted when driving and talking on the phone hands-free, causing “inattention blindness.” When talking on the phone hands-free, we tend to ignore the environment around us even though we have our eyes on the road. NSC estimates about one in four auto accidents happen because of cell phone use.
Research also shows that even using the voice-to-text feature for texting is not much safer either. According to Texas A&M Transportation Institute, drivers that use the voice-to-text feature to send messages still visually review the message before sending it. Thus, the driver is still taking their eyes off the road, causing just as much danger as they do with standard texting.
Texting and Driving Facts
According to DMV.org, at least nine people are killed, and more than 1,000 people are injured every day because of a distracted driver on their phone. Forty-two percent of teens said they have texted while driving, and it is the leading cause of death in teens. The statistics are shocking. No text is more important than another person’s life.
These statistics show that driving while on the phone is just as dangerous as speeding or driving while under the influence. However, if you have a habit of being on your phone while driving, it is not too late to break that habit. If your phone has a “Do Not Disturb” feature, you can turn this on while driving to not be distracted by text messages until you reach your destination. There are also applications for your phone that block any incoming calls and text messages while driving. Let the people you normally communicate with know that you’ll be unavailable for a little bit, but you’ll contact them as soon as you reach your destination. And if you are a passenger in a car where the driver is texting, don’t be afraid to speak up and tell them to stop.
Driving while distracted on your phone is a danger to everyone on the road. It doesn’t matter who is on the other line; that call or text can wait until you get to your destination.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact PARRIS today.