Texting & Driving: Is It Really So Dangerous?
At any time during the day, about 660,000 drivers attempt to use their phones while operating a vehicle. This problem has gotten significantly worse over the past 10 years after the advent of the cell phone and the smartphone. Smartphones are a people’s portals to entertainment, which they can carry with them everywhere.
Each year nearly 330,000 injuries happen from texting while driving, and cell phone use in general leads to 1.6 million crashes a year. However, any kind of distraction can lead to a higher likelihood of accidents.
WHAT MAKES TEXTING SO DIFFERENT?
Texting itself is slightly more hazardous than making cell phone calls because it necessitates looking at the screen. While older models of phones allowed people to feel their way around a keyboard, smartphones have flat, touchscreen surfaces that require people to glance at the screen to ensure the right letter or word was selected.
Likewise answering a text takes away your attention for about 5 seconds. If you’re traveling at 55 MPH, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field. Let’s say the car ahead of you suddenly stopped as another driver swerved into its lane. In those 5 seconds, you took your eyes away from the road and looked up in time to see the back bumper of the car ahead only seconds ahead of you. Even if you slammed on the breaks, it would take you 1¾ seconds for your brain to react and your body to respond. The total minimum distance your vehicle will travel in ideal conditions is 419 feet at that speed—not enough time to avoid hitting the car.
Driver distraction is one of the leading causes of car accidents, and texting just makes distraction that much easier. Teenagers, who are particularly prone to distraction, are even more susceptible. Around 11 teens tie every day as a result of texting while driving, even though around 94% of surveyed teens acknowledge its danger.
Most states now have hand-held mobile device laws in place to protect people. If a police officer spots you texting while driving, or holding your phone while making a call, in most states he or she can stop you without needing any other prompting.
Make sure you practice safe driving. Keep your phone in the back seat if it will keep you away from temptation. Driving is dangerous enough as it is. Put your whole brain to the task. If you were injured by a texting driver, call our Carlsbad auto accident attorneys at Levinson Law Group. We have more than 40 years of combined experience representing people all over California. Contact us at (760) 642-5475 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.