The Dangers of Texting and Driving
By Courtney Winston, Trial Attorney with the Pendleton Law Team
When it comes to texting and driving, I think it’s fair to divide people into two categories: Those who admit to texting and driving; and those who don’t.
In the United States, people send billions of text every month. Texting and driving falls into the category of “distracted driving.” Over 90 percent of crashes are caused by an action or inaction of the driver—people who think they can drive and multi-task but, unfortunately, end up making a mistake that causes an accident. Texting and driving is particularly dangerous because about nine people per day actually die as the result of distracted driving.
The University of Houston and the Texas A&M Transportation institute conducted a study and found that texting while driving is worse than road rage! One reason that texting and driving is so dangerous is because it distracts from hand-eye coordination, which causes a huge safety concern for not only the driver, but also all other cars, bikers, and pedestrians traveling on the same road. Let’s face it, we all think that we’re good multi-taskers, but the reality is that driving is serious business, and no one truthfully only sends one text.
Other research suggests that hands-free devices aren’t any less distracting than using the phone in the traditional way. Again, the issue is the distraction that comes along with using the cell phone behind the wheel. And distracted drivers cause accidents.
Cell phone use is such a huge part of today’s culture that if the idea of a “technology detox”—even if it only lasts long enough to get you from Point A to Point B—can be unattractive or even scary. If you’ve tried to quit texting and driving, consider installing Cellcontrol, Live2Txt, or a similar app to block texting while driving or use the DriveMode on your phone.
Bottom line: The next time you want to read or send a text message while driving—don’t. (This also holds true for commenting on social media, responding to an email, or typing an address into your GPS.) The risks are too high. If something truly needs your immediate attention, consider pulling over and resuming driving after you have put your phone away again. Your life—and the lives of those around you—depends on it.