Why is Texting So Dangerous While Driving
While most individuals know that drinking or speeding will create the potential for an automobile crash, studies have shown that more of the populace needs to be aware of the dangers of texting while driving. According to research conducted by the Automobile Association, approximately 50% of teenagers alone have admitted that they text while driving. If this number seems high, one should also take into account the repercussions from this lapse in judgment. Research indicates that approximately 500,000 crashes occurred in 2008 alone as a result of texting while driving. In the same year, an estimate 6,000 individuals lost their life because of this easily preventable habit.
Although, the research clearly shows that texting while driving can cause extreme consequences, one might also wonder just why texting and driving is so dangerous.
It’s a Distraction
This is the most obvious, but one of the most important reasons. Texting takes away one’s attention from the road and instead keeps them focused on the text that they are sending. While most individuals might claim that they only “spend a second or so” sending out the text, most researchers indicate that people that text while drive typically spend around 5 – 8 seconds looking at the screen of their phones rather than the roadway. Just imagine closing your eyes while driving for even four seconds. Most drivers are aware that this would be a foolish idea.
It Requires the Use of Your Hand(s)
How exactly do people generally text? If you are a novice texter you might use both hands, your fingers to cradle the phone and your thumbs to actually press in the keys. If you are a more advanced texter, you might only need the use of one hand. Either way, you are either taking both hands off of the wheel or taking one hand off the wheel. This can make it much harder to maintain control of your vehicle in the event of an emergency. It is highly recommended that you keep both hands on your vehicle at all times.
It’s More Danger than DWI
Surprisingly, research has shown that it is more dangerous to text and drive than it is to drive while intoxicated (DWI). Car and Driver Magazine, as reported by The Washington Times, recently conducted a test to determine how long it took before a driver was able to break while driving 70 miles an hour.
What they found was startling:
Unimpaired: .54 seconds to brake
Legally drunk: add 4 feet
Reading e-mail: add 36 feet
Sending a text: add 70 feet
As one can see, it takes one 70 feet to stop if they need to break quickly after reacting to a disturbance in the roadway. This is not enough for one to make a rash stop and thus, this can account for the large number of fatalities and injuries that have occurred when texting while driving. As a whole, texting slows down reaction time, causes distractions, and makes keeping control of the vehicle extremely difficult.
Remember, texting can wait!