While many people in Louisiana use their smartphone as a multi purpose tool that can order groceries, check their banking accounts and connect them with loved ones, there are some places smartphones just do not belong. Namely, behind the wheel of a car. Despite educational campaigns about the dangers of distracted driving, texting and driving is still a problem.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at any given point in the day, approximately 660,000 drivers are using their phones behind the wheel. These texting drivers cause as many as 400 fatal car crashes every year. Thousands more suffer related injuries.
Just like drinking and driving?
Texting and driving shares a lot of dangers with drunk driving. The way that texting affects driving behavior is the same as drinking four beers in just one hour. It is easy to see how texting increases the likelihood of causing an accident by 20 times.
One of the biggest issues with texting is that it takes your eyes off the road. When traveling at 55 mph, a driver tapping out an average text message will travel the entire length of a football field with his or her eyes off the road. It is impossible to react to things like traffic lights, stop signs or other drivers when your eyes are on the phone for that long.
Teens and texting
While the old stereotype of teenagers loving their phones might be a bit played out, it is not entirely off base. Despite 94% of teens reporting to AAA that they know the dangers of texting and driving, 35% say they still regularly engage in this behavior. AAA also found that:
- 25% of teens admit to texting at least once every time they are behind the wheel
- 20% of teens say they carry on multiple text conversations while driving
- Teens who text behind the wheel spend approximately 10% of driving time outside of their traffic lanes
Since some of these numbers are self-reported, it is possible that the actual number of teens who text and drive could be much higher. Parents should do their best to educate their children about just how dangerous and deadly texting and driving can be. This includes putting their own phones away when driving.
Texting causes accidents
As much as some people like to believe they are capable of multitasking, the reality is that texting and driving is always dangerous. Not only does it double your risk of causing a two-vehicle collision, but it also potentially triples your chances of other road incidents. These include:
- Drifting off the road
- Hitting poles, signs or trees
- Hitting the curb
A texting and driving accident can alter the course of your foreseeable future. It can be difficult to truly focus on your recovery when you are also dealing with things like medical bills and lost wages, not to mention the emotional aftermath of a serious collision. Those who need help addressing these damages so they can better focus on their physical health often turn to personal injury lawsuits, which can help secure necessary compensation.