While most individuals know that drinking or speeding will create the potential for an automobile crash, studies have shown that more people need 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 to texting while driving. If this number seems high, one should also consider the repercussions of this lapse in judgment.
Research indicates that approximately 500,000 crashes occurred in one year alone due to texting while driving. In the same year, an estimated 6,000 individuals died 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.
Texting is a Distraction
This is the most obvious but one of the most important reasons. Texting takes away one’s attention from the road and keeps one focused on the text 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 who text while driving 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.
Texting Requires the Use of Your Hand(s)
How exactly do people generally text? If you are a novice texter, you might use both hands, fingers to cradle the phone, and thumbs actually to press 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 the wheel or one hand off the wheel. This can make it much harder to maintain control of your vehicle in an emergency. It is highly recommended that you always keep both hands on your vehicle.
Texting Can Be More Dangerous than DWI
Surprisingly, research has shown that texting and driving are more dangerous than driving while intoxicated (DWI). As The Washington Times reported, Car and Driver Magazine recently conducted a test to determine how long it took before a driver could 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 to make a rash stop; thus, this can account for many fatalities and injuries while texting while driving. Texting slows down reaction time, causes distractions, and makes controlling the vehicle difficult.
Remember, texting can wait!
According to the NHTSA, over 3100 people died in the last annual statistics related to distracted driving in the USA.
Texting and Driving is Ilegal in Texas
You cannot send or receive electronic messages while driving in Texas. Drivers with learner’s permits are prohibited from using cell phones in the first six months of driving. Using any handheld device in your vehicle in a school zone is illegal. Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using handheld devices.
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Baumgartner Law Firm is a Houston personal injury law firm headed by Greg Baumgartner.
Our firm was established in 1985 and has helped thousands of injury victims get maximum compensation for their cases. If you have been injured in an accident in Houston, TX, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. (281) 587-1111.
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