THE TRUE RISKS OF TEXTING WHILE DRIVING
All of us who drive now have to deal with the regrettable reality of texting and driving. Other drivers are sneaking glances while driving, even if you’re not—at a red light, in the thick of bumper-to-bumper traffic, etc.
Smartphone use has many advantages for communication and pleasure, but it also poses risks when combined with regular activities like driving. This blog post seeks to highlight the risks associated with distracted driving, particularly texting and driving, and to discuss potential collaborative solutions to this expanding problem.
Distracted Driving: What Is It?
Let’s first discuss the more general problem of distracted driving before getting into the particulars of texting and driving.
Anything that diverts a driver’s attention from paying attention to the road constitutes distracted driving. This includes using a cell phone, eating, conversing with other passengers, and adjusting the radio. Distractions fall into three categories, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): visual distractions, manual distractions, and cognitive distractions, which pull your attention away from the road while driving. Since texting while driving involves all three forms of distraction, it is especially risky.
An Aesthetic Disturbance
It’s a visual distraction, to start. Your eyes aren’t on the road, whether you’re reading a text or typing a response. Looking at your phone for even a short period of time while driving might have detrimental effects.
A PERSONAL DESTRUCTION
It is also a manual diversion. You must remove at least one hand from the driving wheel in order to send a text. This lessens your capacity to maintain control over the car and react swiftly to unanticipated hazards or changing road conditions.
A COGNITIVE REACTION (“THINKING”)
It’s also a cognitive diversion, to sum up. Your entire attention isn’t on the road when you’re texting. While you’re texting, your thoughts are on the message, the reply, or any additional notifications that appear. You’re less likely to detect crucial situations, cues, and cautions when driving because of this fragmented focus.
You see, texting and driving are triple threats that significantly raise the likelihood of an accident, not simply a small distraction.
Texting and Driving: The Dangers
Texting and driving have significant risks. Sending or reading a text message, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), takes your eyes off the road for roughly five seconds. You are essentially “sightless driving” when you travel 45 mph, which is the same distance as more than four NBA basketball courts set end to end.
THE IMPACT ON YOUR RATES FOR AUTO INSURANCE
In addition to putting lives in peril, texting and driving carry a financial risk. Because distracted drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents, most auto insurance companies raise their rates for drivers who are caught texting or driving while intoxicated.
CAN YOU DRIVE AFTER YOU’VE BEEN DRUNK?
It may surprise you to hear that texting and driving might be just as risky as it seems. Not as risky as driving while intoxicated, but still cause for caution.
Both greatly reduce one’s ability to drive and raise the possibility of collisions. Distracted driving results in 30,000 accidents annually, whereas drunk driving claims millions of lives. And texting is the cause of 10% (or 3,000) of those typical crashes.
The Law Concerning Distracted Driving
Here’s the thing: nationwide legislation to reduce the risks associated with distracted driving is becoming more and more prevalent. They want to increase general road safety and forbid drivers from using mobile phones while operating a vehicle.
QUESTIONS ABOUT CELLPHONE LAWS?
There are rules in several states that regulate when and how you can use your phone while operating a motor vehicle. Really, it’s a mixed bag. Certain states are more severe and forbid you from carrying your phone at all while operating a motor vehicle. Some are a little more lax, letting you use your phone when stationary (at a red light, for example) or hands-free (with a mount on the dashboard).
TEXTING BANS: IMPORTANT INFORMATION
The majority of places have made texting and driving strictly forbidden. If you are discovered, you may have to pay a large fine. It gets worse if you’re a habitual texter; in certain places, your license may even be suspended. And keep in mind that this generally applies to any text-based communication, including emailing and browsing social media. It’s not just about texting, either.
USE BANS ON YOUNG DRIVERS’ PHONES
Drivers who are inexperienced or young are particularly vulnerable to distracted driving. Because of this, a few states have outlawed the use of cell phones by drivers who are less than a specific age or have a provisional license. The main goal is to assist novice drivers in developing safe driving practices.
These rules are excellent, but in order to really help, they must be implemented. That’s the reason why we see ads like “U Drive.” The purpose of the “U Text. U Pay” campaign is to raise awareness of the serious repercussions of distracted driving among all people.
The final word? It’s critical to be aware of local rules in order to avoid fines and, more importantly, to maintain road safety.
Fighting Distracted Driving: Keeping an Eye on Your Patterns
What steps may be taken to prevent distracted driving now that the risks are apparent?
The three main weapons in the fight against texting and driving are legislation, education, and technology. When a phone is detected to be in “driving mode”—Apple’s Do Not Disturb mode, for instance—new technologies are being created that have the ability to block texts and calls.
Another important tool in the fight against texting while driving is self-awareness. There are apps that can track your cellphone usage while driving and provide you with tips on how to improve your habits.
As you drive, keep in mind that your safety and the safety of other drivers are equally important. Together, let’s increase the safety of our roads. Please consider forwarding this blog article to your friends and family if you found it useful.
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