If there’s something that requires a great deal of concentration – it’s driving. When you are driving, you have to not only take care of your safety, but also the safety of other road users. That is why texting while driving has become a major scare in today’s society.
According to the National Safety Council, approximately 1.6 million accidents in the United States are as a result of mobile phone use while driving. When you are texting while driving, you are shifting your concentration from what’s most important – the safe operation of your motor vehicle. When you text while driving, you are endangering your life and the lives of other road users. This article, therefore, seeks to explore the dangers of texting and driving, the statistics related to the issue, and its magnitude in the society.
The Dangers of Driving and Texting
Every driver should be committed to the safe operation of his or her vehicle. However, the temptation to text while driving is extremely high. This is particularly true since the advent of voice to text functionality on smart phones. Unfortunately, interacting with your smart phone can, and frequently does, lead to an accident.
Basically, the danger of texting while driving is that it distracts you from taking full control of your car. Consequently, the chances of being in an accident are high. Distracted driving leads to accidents and accidents lead to injuries, potentially both to you and other road users. There is never a time when a text message is more important than your safety or the safety of others on the road with you. Stated succinctly – IT CAN WAIT.
While a rather minor annoyance in comparison to an injury, you can also damage your car while texting and driving. This may involve days at the body shop or mechanic where you will be without transportation. It can also involve thousands of dollars in damage. Again – all of this damage could be avoided by simply waiting to reply to or send that text message.
If you injure someone while texting and driving, the chances are high that the victim will contact a car crash lawyer to follow up, legally, on the issue. Depending on whether you have sufficient insurance coverage, this can lead to a significant financial burden. Lawsuits are expensive to defend against. They cost a lot of both money and time. Instead of using monetary resources to cater for an issue that could have been avoided, it is prudent to avoid driving while texting.
Imagine also the worst case scenario – that someone is killed because you were distracted while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that distracted driving caused 3,166 deaths in 2017. The fact that texting and driving can cause deaths shows just how dangerous it is. Certainly, texting while driving is a dangerous affair, which risks the safety of the society to a large extent. Thus, it should be avoided as much as possible.
Statistics Regarding Automobile Accidents Resulting From Texting and Driving
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 9 people die and 1000 people are injured in car crashes caused by distracted driving in the US. It s worth noting that texting while driving accounts to a large percentage to this statistic.
At the state level, according to the Texas Department of Transportation, 1 out of 5 crashes are as a result of distracted driving. Texting and driving is regarded as one of the most dangerous distracted driving practices in Texas. Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2017, 18.7% of the accidents in Texas were caused by driver distraction including texting while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration further reported that in 2018, 17.6% of the accidents in the state were as a result of distracted driving, which involved, to a large extent, driving while texting.
Comparison to Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
To understand the magnitude of the dangers of driving and texting, a comparison with driving under the influence of alcohol is pertinent. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that from 2012-2017, almost 20,000 people died as a result of distracted driving, which included driving and texting. In comparison to driving under the influence of alcohol, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 29 people die daily due to road accidents related to alcohol-impaired driving. Additionally, in 2016, 28% of all road accidents in the U.S were as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol. The comparison above shows that driving and texting as well as driving under the influence of alcohol contribute greatly to accidents in the United States.
There can be no doubt that driving and texting is extremely dangerous. You should always avoid using your phone when driving. In case you get involved in an accident, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to guide you on the legal processes related to the crash. The simplest way to avoid a texting while driving accident, however, is very straightforward – put the phone down and don’t pick it up. It’s a text – it can wait.