Get the Facts: Why Texting and Driving Is Dangerous
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a national average of 3,000 fatal motor vehicle collisions involve some form of distracted driving every year. While there are almost countless types of distracted driving, the most common and most dangerous is texting and driving. That’s why this April, in honor of Distracted Driving Awareness Month 2021, our Phoenix doctor-lawyers at Cullan & Cullan are highlighting the dangers of texting in the driver’s seat.
Texting and Driving Is Inherently Dangerous
Out of all the fatal crashes in 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 14% of those related to distracted driving involved some sort of cell phone use. These numbers are alarming but not surprising — after all, using a handheld cell phone takes your eyes off the road ahead of you. For instance, the average text takes about 5 seconds to send, which means that if a motorist is driving at 55 miles per hour, they have traveled the length of a football field without watching the road.
In addition to taking your eyes off the road, you will also be taking one hand off the wheel to type. Thus, even if your eyes are flitting back and forth between the road and your phone, your reaction speed will be greatly reduced. Should another driver swerve into your lane, you will have a hard time moving out of the way in time because you are driving with only one hand.
Lastly, texting also takes up mental space, as your attention will be on the text conversation instead of on driving. Many people may not consider a preoccupied mind to be a form of driver distraction, but it can prevent you from focusing on the road, delay your reaction time, and increase your chances of getting into an accident.
Therefore, texting and driving is dangerous in a few different ways and meets all three of the CDC’s distracted driving categories:
- Visual: a distraction that takes your eyes off the road ahead
- Manual: a distraction that takes one or both hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: a distraction that turns your attention away from driving
The good news is that drivers can easily avoid texting while driving by planning ahead and choosing safe driving habits over risky ones.
Texting and Driving Prevention Tips
A few simple texting and driving prevention tips include the following:
- Silence your phone before you drive. It may also help to turn off the vibration setting.
- Put your phone in a place you cannot easily reach, such as a bag in the backseat or the glove compartment.
- Put your phone in driving mode or use a safe driving app that silences texts and other alerts.
- If you need to text, such as in emergency situations, safely pull over before doing so.
While distracted driving has been a persistent problem in the United States for years, every single driver who chooses to refrain from driving while distracted greatly improves the safety of the roads on which they travel. Do your part this Distracted Driving Awareness Month by following the above prevention tips.
Acclaimed Trial Lawyers with Medical Degrees
At Cullan & Cullan, our esteemed trial lawyers also hold medical degrees, making our Phoenix firm a wise choice for residents who have sustained serious, life-altering injuries. Over the years, we have recovered more than $350 million for our clients in jury awards and settlements. If a distracted driver has injured you, we want to help you hold them accountable.
Call (602) 900-9483 today for a free consultation with a skilled attorney. We can also be reached online