It’s 2019 and everyone has a cell phone. The average American sends and receives 32 texts per day. People are constantly texting, emailing and using chat apps (think WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.), and expecting a prompt reply in return. In fact, most people expect a reply within 3 minutes of sending a message. However, the fact of the matter is that while everyone has cell phones, everywhere isn’t a safe place to use them. Texting and driving has become a national concern and for good reason.
The National Safety Council estimated that cell phone use causes 1.6 million crashes every year and over 341,000 injuries are caused by texting and driving accidents. Texting while driving is now six times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk. Every day in the United States, 8-9 people are killed and 1,161 people are injured because of distracted drivers.
If you are thinking those statistics can’t be right, think again. Texting while driving is dangerous.
Texting while Driving is Distracting
Texting while driving is visually, manually and cognitively distracting. To send or receive a text, you take your eyes off the road, at least one hand off the wheel, and focus your concentration somewhere other than the road in front of you. It takes a driver, at the very least, 5 seconds to text while he/she is driving. If you are driving at a rate of 60 mph, you travel 88 feet per second, an entire football field will have passed you by in those 5 seconds. If you were distracted for about 27 seconds – that would be just under 8 football fields!
Texting and Driving Lowers Reaction Time
Studies have found that texting while driving DOUBLES a driver’s reaction time. Drivers that text are 11 times more likely to miss a flashing light and swerve in their lane.
In fact, when people were tested on their reaction times when texting with two hands while driving versus drinking while driving (blood alcohol level of .08%), people’s reaction times were faster with a blood alcohol level of .08% than their reaction times were while they were texting!
Texting is Against the Law
Knowing the dangers of texting and driving makes it no surprise that texting is against the law in almost every state. This includes both reading and sending messages, whether you are at a stop light or moving.
Why do People Text and Drive Despite Risks?
Many people feel pressure to respond to texts immediately (it could be their boss, their kids’ school, etc.) and don’t realize how their reaction time changes when they are texting. They may think they are not like other people and can multitask better, but think about a time you swerved or slammed on your breaks to avoid an accident…would you have been able to avoid that accident if you were texting? Texting and driving are dangerous for everyone, no exceptions.
Set up an Auto-Reply
Still feeling the urge to respond to an incoming text while driving? Remove that pressure by setting up an automatic reply on your phone to respond to incoming messages while you are driving. Don’t know how to set up your automatic reply? Contact your cell phone service provider and/or your cell phone provider. There are new automated applications and settings coming out all the time. Texting can wait. No excuses.
Our Birmingham, AL personal injury firm can analyze your case.
If you believe you have suffered as a result of someone else’s actions, contact us, Lewis and Feldman, at (205) 254-6060 or toll-free at (888) 295-7409 for a free, no-risk consultation about your injuries.
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