Texting and driving is a major issue in our society today. While most people do realize that texting and driving is dangerous, there are still a significant amount of drivers who continue to text and drive. The reasons people continue to text and drive are numerous, but it all boils down to one thing… People who text and drive believe they are good enough to get away with it.
In some ways, the reasons people drink and drive is very similar to the reasons people text and drive. They get away with it once and think, “hey, that wasn’t so bad.” this just makes a driver more confident that they can get away with it again, and again, and again, until eventually they are caught. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the average driver arrested for DUI is usually caught after they have already driven drunk around 80 times. How many times can someone texting and driving get away with it? Those stats are yet to be determined, but we can all agree that it just isn’t worth the risk even one time. Here are 15 facts about texting and driving to serve as more reasons why it’s just a bad idea.
#15 – It Takes Longer To Text Than You Think
When drivers text and drive, their eyes are taken off the road. In controlled studies, people would report looking at the phone for fractions of a second, but the real average was about 5 seconds that their eyes were off the road. If traveling at 55 mph, this equals driving the length of a football field without looking at the road. Here is a link containing more information about this study.
#14 – Reducing Texting And Driving Isn’t The Sole Responsibility Of Drivers
While ultimately a driver has the last say in whether they read a text message or not, we need to support our friends, co-workers, and family members when we know they are on the road. Most of us are guilty of sending a text message to someone we know is driving. If we create the distraction knowing they are driving, aren’t we partially at fault? Do not put yourself in a situation where someone you care about was hurt because they were replying to your text message, just like what happened in the video below:
#13 – Texting And Driving Makes Up 18% Of All Fatal Crashes
Still don’t think texting and driving is dangerous? In a recent study, it was discovered that approximately 18% of all fatal crashes are caused by texting and driving. In just 2012 alone, 3,328 were people killed due to texting and driving. Around 420,000 people were also injured.
#12 – Approximately 40% Of Teens Admit To Texting And Driving
Even though the dangers of texting an driving are well documented, this has done very little to keep teen drivers from texting and driving. According to a poll in the United States, 40% of teen drivers admitted that they have participated in texting and driving in the past 30 days. Many people wonder why there are so many commercials about texting and driving. This is one of the many reasons. Teens and even adults still don’t get how dangerous it really is.
#11 – Texting And Driving Puts My Life At Risk
That’s right, I’m getting personal for a second here. When you text and drive, you are putting my life and the lives of the ones I love at risk. Shame on you. Even though I don’t ever text and drive, I am forced to share the roads with people who do. Anytime someone I’m driving next to begins to text and drive, they decided for me that MY life is worth the risk, just so they can read or send a meaningless text. If you text and drive, the bottom line is, you are extremely selfish.
#10 – We Are Addicted To Cell Phones
Our modern society, as a whole, is addicted to cell phones. We can hardly be without them for even a few minutes. When is the last time you went without your cell phone for 24hrs? In a recent study, 70% of people could not go without their phones for 24 hours. Cell phone addiction is an addiction like any other. This translates into higher texting and driving incidents because for some, the addiction is so strong, they can’t even wait until they’ve finished driving to read a text. That’s pretty scary.
#9 – 9 People Will Die Today Due To Distracted Driving
According to the Center for Disease Control, by the time you go to bed tonight, another 9 people will have become victims of distracted driving. While mass shootings and terrorist attacks make the news, this state goes relatively unreported. Texting and driving isn’t the only form of distracted driving, but it is one of the top forms.
#8 – Taking Your Eyes Off The Road Is Only The Half Of It
The biggest focus with texting and driving is the fact that you must take your eyes off the road in order to do so. However, this is only the beginning. Those who text and drive spend the precious time they have either texting or looking out the front window. When texting and driving, most drivers do not check their mirrors and have the situational awareness non-texting drivers do. By not knowing what’s going on around you and only focusing on texts or the windshield, the risk for a crash is increased.
#7 – Texting Forces You To Take Your Hand Off The Wheel
Texting and driving automatically means you have one hand on the wheel and one hand on the phone. Should an emergency situation arise, not only is your reaction time going to be worse, but your ability to physically react to the emergency is also reduced since you’re not ready for the emergency. The time it takes to drop your phone and get your bands back into a defensive driving position in order to react to an emergency is long enough to cause an avoidable crash.
#6 – Texting And Driving Diverts Our Attention From Other Dangers
There are many forms of distracted driving, but we all seem so focused on texting an driving that other distracted behavior doesn’t get much attention. For instance, eating while driving is extremely common, but also extremely dangerous! In addition, many people will text and drive while simultaneously participating in some other distracted driving behavior, making other distractions exponentially worse.
#5 – Texting And Driving Is Against The Law
Many states have specific laws against texting and driving, but not all states have specific laws in place just for texting. However, all states have various laws regarding distracted driving and reckless driving. Make no mistake, if you are in an accident and it is discovered that you were texting and driving, you will face a judge.
#4 – Men And Women Text At Approximately The Same Rate
Many studies show that women are more likely to text and drive than men, but there are also a large number of studies that show the opposite to be true. While we know younger people tend to text and drive more frequently, it does not appear that there is a male or female correlation. Both men and women are equally as guilty of texting and driving.
#3 – 90% Of Teens Expect A Reply To Their Texts Within Five Minutes
Gone are the days of sending a letter to a friend and waiting a few weeks for a response. In our go-go-go and fast paced digital society, people expect text messages to be answered within’ seconds. Studies have shown that teens expect a response within’ just 5 minutes. This puts a large amount of pressure for teen drivers to respond to texts, even if they are driving.
#2 – Texting And Driving Is Higher For Solo Drivers
It seems for most drivers, having a passenger in the vehicle can act as a deterrent to texting and driving. People are much more likely to text and drive when they are driving alone, especially as it pertains to teen drivers. When driving alone, consider locking your phone into the glovebox or (gasp!) just consider turning it off during your trip to remove any impulses you might have.
#1 – You Can Be Charged With Murder For Texting And Driving
Imagine you’re driving along a rather uncontested roadway when you get a text message. You know you’re not supposed to look, but you do. The message reads, “when will you be here?” You know you shouldn’t but you decide to write a really quick reply. You send the response, “I’m 10 minutes away.” You hear your phone beep again, so you look at the text, and BAM! You hear a loud noise, your windshield is cracked, and you slam on the brakes. Then, you look behind you. Someone must have been crossing the road just as you were reading the text. Your entire life is about to change. You might even be charged with murder. You better believe the cell carrier has records of the exact time you were texting and you better believe the police will acquire those records. When they find out you were sending a text when the pedestrian was hit, it’s game over and time for you to lawyer up. A simple text and your life could be ruined forever.
BONUS – Texting And Driving Is Stupid
The fact is, texting and driving is dumb. Forgive me for being harsh here, but only selfish idiots would text and drive. There is no argument that could be made to text and drive. If you can’t help yourself when that phone rings with a text alert, either shut it off or pull into a parking lot to check your messages. Don’t text and drive. Don’t be stupid.