We’ve all heard that texting and driving isn’t safe. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) there are over 3,000 fatal car accidents in the US every year, which are caused by distracted driving. There are many different types of distracted driving, but the most common is texting while driving. Today we will be focusing on the dangers of texting while driving and highlight a few most important things you need to pay attention to and try to avoid.
Texting and driving is dangerousAccording to the studies conducted by the NHTSA, 14% of all distracted driving accidents were caused by texting and driving or some other form of cellphone use. Even though these number are very alarming but they are not really surprising, given the fact that while you use your phone wile driving, you’re taking your eyes off the road. For example, when texting and driving, you spend approximately 5 seconds to send a single text and during that time, the motorist is not paying attention to the road or to his/her driving. And when you’re driving at around 55 miles per hour, during those 5 seconds you travel the length of a football field without watching the road. Aside from taking your eyes of the road when texting and driving, you’re also taking one had off the steering wheel. And even if you’re flitting back and forth from the phone and road, you still have one hand on the steering wheel which means that you don’t have the proper control over your vehicle and your reaction time is greatly reduced. Thirdly, when you text, you’re not 100% focused on driving. It’s a mental distraction since you will be mostly focused on texting and not driving. Now you might not think that a preoccupied mind is a type of distraction, but it is. It can take your mind off from focusing on the road, resulting a lower reaction time and increasing the chance of getting into a car accident. So to summarize, texting and driving is dangerous because it causes three types of distracted driving:
- Visual – When you take your eyes of the road
- Manual – You take one hand of the steering wheel and don’t have proper management of your car
- Cognitive (mental) – when you’re more focused on texting than on driving
How to prevent texting and driving?Letting go of old and risky habits while driving might not be easy, but it’s possible. Here are some tips on how to stop texting and driving and switch to safe driving habits:
- Put your phone on silent mode while you’re driving. You can even turn off the vibration as well so it will be like your phone is not even in the car with you.
- You can even put phones in places where you can’t reach it easily like a bag or in your glove compartment
- Phones can now be put into driving mode and you can even download applications that silence text notifications while driving
- If you absolutely need to send a text while driving (when there’s an emergency) make sure that you first pull over safely and then type your message.