We all know that texting while driving is a bad idea. Still, most of us allow ourselves to do it, some more often than others. In this article we’ll tell you more about the dangers of texting while driving in the hopes this will further discourage you from taking such a risk.
So, it’s obvious that taking your eyes off the road in order to look at your cell phone’s screen, read messages and then type back answers, may lead to you crashing into another vehicle, an obstacle or a pedestrian, but just what are the chances of such an occurrence. Well, here are some stats.
The minute you start texting and driving you’re putting yourself at a 23 times greater risk of crashing. Nowadays one in every 4 traffic accidents occur due to a driver texting while driving. Over half a million car crashes occur each year in the U.S due to texting and driving, 9 people are killed every day as a result of these accidents, many more are injured, some severely.
According to Arnaldo Marra, the logistic manager of Towing Legend in Martinez, CA, every week their towing company is summoned to handle several misfortunate collisions due to distracted driving.
It is estimated that it’s o.k. to take your eyes off the road for as long as two seconds, so long as there’s nothing going on (i.e. the road is clear, you do not have to steer, accelerate or brake). When texting while driving you need to take your eyes off the road for periods of at least 5 seconds each time you look at your phone to read or to do some typing.
You’re Not Putting Only Yourself at Risk
One thing you should remember when allowing yourself to text and drive is that you’re not putting only yourself at risk (as you do for instance when you decide not to put on your safety belt). You’re endangering anyone else riding with you as well as others using the road (people in other cars and pedestrians). More than half of the kids and teenagers in the U.S testify that they have felt endangered when riding in cars the drivers of which were texting and driving.
How to Resist the Urge
The reason that many of us allow ourselves to text and drive even though we know that it’s dangerous is because we have become so accustomed to using our cell phones to keep in constant touch with family, friends, people we work with etc. Our phone is next to us always, while we’re driving too, when we hear that we got a message it’s hard not to look and see what it is, then we immediately want to send back a quick answer.
Here are some things you can do to help you resist the urge to text while driving. You can decide to always put your phone away when driving, setting it on silent so that you don’t even know that you got a message. You can turn on an app that sends an automatic reply to any message that comes in while you’re driving telling people that you’re at the wheel and will get back to them once you park. If anyone is riding with you, give them the phone and have them work it, reading messages to you and typing in what you tell them to.