If you were to explain just how dangerous texting and driving is to a teenager, what would you say? One solution would be to ask whether they would drive the length of a football field at 55mph blindfolded. It’s an accurate analogy, considering that the average time a driver takes their eyes off the road to use their smartphone is 4.6 seconds.
That statistic comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is the same amount of time it would take to go from one end zone to the other. While commonly underestimated, the real dangers of texting and driving are hard to overstate. According to the CDC, car crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers and young drivers.
The same source reports that in recent years, approximately 2,700 teenagers were killed while driving under the influence. A heinous statistic, but perhaps more shocking is the fact that over 3,000 teenagers die each year in car accidents caused by the loss of attention when using a smartphone. That boils down to roughly eight deaths per day.
A Problem Among all Age Groups
When we talk about the dangers of texting and driving, teenagers are often the first group to be mentioned. However, it should come as no surprise that it’s not only teens who are putting themselves at risk.
A survey conducted by AT&T found that 49% of adult motorists in the U.S. admitted to texting while driving. In another survey by Consumer Reports, 48% of young drivers saw their parents using their smartphones while behind the wheel. In a twist of irony, 90% of respondents in the AT&T survey knew that the act was dangerous.
Awareness is key here. If you and your loved ones understand the dangers of texting and driving, they’ll be much less likely to do it.
The Consequences of Texting and Driving
At this point, it should be clear that texting and driving is far riskier than most people assume it to be. When the inevitable happens, a car accident can result in serious injuries or worse, not only to the driver but also the passengers and any other pedestrians or motorists involved.
There’s also the financial impact. Damage to the vehicles involved often causes significant financial setbacks to their owners. Your insurance company is likely to impose penalties as well. That’s not even mentioning the potential legal consequences, as texting and driving can result in anything from a hefty fine to a prison sentence.
Even if you follow the rules of the road and keep your smartphone out of reach, you always run the risk of being a victim in a situation where another driver causes an accident while texting and driving. This is why it’s important to be wary of other distracted drivers on the road, as well as to spread awareness around the topic.
How You Can Make a Difference
Start by informing your loved ones about the dangers of texting and driving. The more they know, the less likely they will be to commit the act. If someone else is texting behind the wheel, speak out and let them know that their safety is at risk. It’s worth mentioning that the authorities can easily contact a cell phone company to check if you were texting.
If you have a partner or child who drives, consider implementing some simple safety measures to reduce the need to check their phones while driving. For instance, there are apps available that block access to emails, texting, browsing and calling (except 911) when the car is in motion.
Check the safety features of their navigation apps, too. Waze, for example, only allows you to enter directions if it detects that you’ve stopped. The app will also allow passengers to confirm that they aren’t driving so that they can enter directions if needed.
If you’re in the market for a new car, consider purchasing one with built-in multimedia functionalities and voice control. This way, the driver can send instructions to their phone, set navigation points and respond to calls without taking their hands off the wheel. Voice assistant apps on smartphones work just as well.
It’s up to every motorist to understand that the dangers of texting and driving exist for everyone and to govern themselves accordingly when behind the wheel. In doing so, we can make our roads a safer place for all.
Should you have the misfortune of being injured while someone else was texting and driving, you deserve to hold them accountable. Texting and driving accidents occur at a monumental rate. Many people in Texas will suffer injuries related to accidents like these. Instead of being thrown around by the liable party’s insurance company, hire an attorney to represent you in your rightful claims personal injury case following a texting and driving wreck.
The Dallas car accident attorneys at Reyes Browne Reilley attorneys have been representing the wrongfully injured for nearly three decades. You deserve the highest-rated injury law firm in all of Texas to represent you and your fight to retain proper compensation for your injuries. Call us today for your 100% free consultation. Should you hire us, financial problems will not come with it as we only get paid if we win for you! Call us now at (214) 526-7900 to begin your consultation now.
Guest posted. Authored by Timothy Backes