Driving Hazards – Texting and Driving
In recent months, several cities and states across the country have implemented bans on sending and reading text messages while operating a motor vehicle. When viewed through the lens of automobile accident statistics, it is easy to see why these bans are starting to pass.
It is estimated that individuals who text and drive are twice as likely to cause automobile accidents as those who drink and drive. For comparison, a drunk driver is four times more likely to cause an accident as a sober driver, meaning that texting drivers are eight times more likely to cause accidents than regular drivers.
When one considers the act of sending a text message, these startling statistics make more sense. Typically, an individual who reads a text messages and responds to it while driving must:
Take his or her eyes off the road to read the message
Pay attention to the phone’s menus to reply to the message
Divert his or her attention to type out a new message
Some drivers are able to perform this task better than others, but some must completely take their eyes off of the road to complete this task. This is when most dangers arise, as doing this may limit a driver’s attention to the road.
Drivers who take their eyes off of the road and divert their attention to the small screens in their hands usually have diminished reaction times, which is one of the greatest ways to increase the risk of getting into a serious accident.