Texting and driving is a dangerous epidemic in the United States. This activity can result in a variety of serious consequences. Statistics from 2011 indicated that over 23 percent of auto accidents in the U.S. involved the use of a cell phone, and texting makes a car accident over 20 times more likely to occur. Teenaged drivers are often the main culprit when it comes to texting and driving.
How Texting Affects Your Driving
Sending a text requires that your eyes are diverted from driving for at least five seconds. When driving at 55 mph, five seconds can equate to the length of an entire football field, and numerous obstacles may be at play in that distance. Even though most teens understand that texting while driving is dangerous, about 75 percent of them feel confident that they can text while safely operating a vehicle.
What You Can Do While You’re Driving
Certain steps should be taken when it comes to preventing texting while driving. Adults, specifically parents, need to set a good example for their children by refraining from using their cell phones while operating their vehicles. Many states are creating laws that prohibit sending texts while driving, while other states are further banning all handheld cell phone use. Preventive technology may also be available in order to send automatic replies to tell anyone that sends you a text that you are driving, and other systems may be able to disable all incoming messages while you are operating a vehicle.
No text is so important that it cannot wait until you have stopped your vehicle. If you feel that you may have received an urgent text, pull your vehicle over to respond to the message. Attempting to text while driving is not worth the many consequences you might suffer, including receiving a citation, causing an accident injury, to yourself, your friends, or others.