Latest statistics reveal that there are close to 2.5 million cars on the streets and highways of United States. They account for more than 10 million accidents each year. A variety of factors contribute to these unwanted incidents including drunk driving, distracted driving, poor weather conditions and technical problems in the vehicle.
Many government and private agencies have worked hard to create awareness about automobile accidents and fatalities. While many people understand dangers associated with drunk driving, they are unaware of the impact that cell phones can have on driving habits.
What Do The Numbers Say?
Millions of Americans use text messaging services to communicate with friends and family members. Several studies have been conducted to estimate the number of motor vehicle accidents and fatalities that occur due to texting and cell phone usage. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has concluded that texting is six times more risky when compared to drunk driving and is responsible for killing more than 3,000 people and injuring another 330,000 people each year. In fact, it has replaced intoxication as the number one cause of motor vehicle accidents, especially among teenagers. Close to 47 percent of adults also admit to texting while driving. At a speed of 55 miles per hour, an average text will take your eyes off the road for about 4.6 seconds. This will increase your risk of crash or accident by at least 23 times.
How Does Texting Impact Driving?
Typing a 160 character message can have significant impact on your mental and physical abilities. A study by caranddriver.com analyzed the reaction times of drivers while texting. After measuring base reaction times at 35 and 70 miles per hour, the researchers measured reaction times of the drivers while they read and wrote text messages. The study demonstrated that texting can:
Take your eyes away from the road. In fact, a single text is equivalent to driving blindfolded across the length of a football field. Distract your mind and thereby alter the reaction time. Increase your risk for other dangerous behaviors including drunk driving and over speeding.
What Can You Do?
The best way to avoid texting while driving is to turn off the cell phone. This will help you avoid the temptation. Your voice mail will store all the messages and you can check them once you arrive at your destination. If you have to text, pull off the road to stop at a safe spot. Take charge of your phone and do not allow it to control your life.
You can also contribute to the safety of your loved ones in several ways. Do not call or text unless there is something important to discuss, especially if you know the recipient is driving at that moment. You should also discuss the impact of texting while driving with your teenage children and family members. Set the right example by avoiding texting while driving.
More Americans rely on their cell phones today than ever before. They use the devices for everything from browsing the internet to keeping in touch with friends and family members. While texting and other mobile services have simplified the way we lead our lives, they have also acted as major distractions for drivers and contributed to thousands of motor vehicle accidents in the recent past. Therefore, it is prudent to avoid texting while driving for your own safety and for the safety of others on the road.
A.H. writes for proctorhonda.com, a medium car business from Florida. While he usually writes about car maintenance and repair, driving health and safety are also among his concerns.