Texting while driving is dangerous for everyone on the road, including you. If you text and drive, you are 23 times more likely to get in a crash than a non-texting driver, according to a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study.
Dangers of Driving and Texting
Technology and global connection are at our fingertips anytime we need these days, but devices like smartphones and cell phones take our attention off driving. Talking on a handheld phone is banned in 24 states and D.C., and text messaging is banned in 48 states and D.C., (See texting and driving cell phone laws by state), and for good reason. Just take a look at these texting and driving statistics:
- In 2019, driver distraction was the cause of 9 percent of all fatal car crashes and 15 percent of crashes resulting in an injury, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- Thirteen percent of drivers 18 to 20 who were in an accident and survived admitted to sending or receiving texts when they crashed.
- Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity needed for driving by 37 percent, according to a Carnegie Mellon University study.
Preventing Driving and Texting
It’s hard not to pick up the phone when it rings or chimes that someone is calling or sending a message. The best way to prevent cell phone distraction on the road is to leave your phone in your purse or pocket while driving, even hands-free devices have negative impacts on driving.
If leaving your phone at home isn’t an option for you, try downloading safe driving apps to your smartphone to stay away from texts, emails, and calls while on the road. These apps work to prevent drivers from receiving calls, texts,, and phone notifications while driving. Senders can receive a polite message in some cases, stating the receiver is currently on the road.
No matter what, the important part is to be responsible and keep your eyes on the road. It takes about 5 seconds to glance down at your phone and messages – which at 55 mph, is like driving the length of a football field. So, don’t text and drive! Anything on your phone can wait so that you can give the road your attention—not your phone.
Texting while driving is one no-no, but any activity that diverts your attention from driving is distracted driving and should be avoided. After all, there are potential consequences including getting into a car accident and causing injury to yourself and others or getting ticketed— which could also raise your auto insurance rates.