We’ve heard it before — texting while driving behind the wheel is a dangerous thing to do. And yet, most of us still do it from time to time.
While there are equally hazardous things to do when driving — such as changing the radio station, reaching for something in the back seat or putting on makeup — texting and driving may be one of the most dangerous. Here’s why.
Three types of distractions
There are three distinct categories of distracted driving:
- Manual: Distractions that take your hands off the wheel
- Visual: Distractions that take your eyes off the road
- Cognitive: Distractions that take your mind or attention away from driving
Many distractions are a combination of all three types, and texting behind the wheel is one of them. You use your eyes, mind and hands in order to read or send a text message. Often, the reward of reading or sending a message is not worth the risk that it poses to yourself and other drivers.
Texting and driving – an epidemic
Unfortunately, even though most people understand the dangers of texting while driving, many people still do it. You may find yourself thinking that it only takes a few short glances to check your messages and that nothing of consequence could possibly happen during that time.
However, when you look at your phone for a mere 5 seconds while traveling at 55 mph, you cover the length of a football field. Within that distance and within those short seconds, anything can happen.
The most recent statistics from 2018 reveal that almost 3,000 drivers were killed as a result of texting behind the wheel, and more than 400,000 people were injured. Not to mention, there are countless more bicyclists and pedestrians who fall victim to distracted drivers.
In the event of an accident
You might think you are capable of texting while driving, but you are not a safe driver unless you put away all distractions and keep your focus on the road and your surroundings.
Regrettably, some people maintain the “It’ll never happen to me” mindset. Although you can do your part to keep yourself safe by putting the phone away, other drivers might not follow suit. If you get into a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, don’t hesitate to protect yourself and explore your legal options.