Of all driving distractions, texting while operating a motor vehicle is the deadliest. Texting diverts the driver’s attention away from the road and is statistically as dangerous as drunk driving. Sadly, in 2010, studies discovered that more than 660,000 drivers use cell phones at any given moment on American highways. While most states allow drivers to talk on cell phones while driving in emergency situations, many of them have mandated that texting while driving is a crime with steep monetary fines.
When a driver engages in texting while driving, they put themselves, other drivers, and pedestrians in danger. By sending an average text message with by a hand-held phone, drivers typically take their eyes off of the road for an average of 4.5 seconds. While this may seem like an insignificant amount of time, an average car travelling at 55 miles per hour will cover the distance of a football field in this amount of time.
Recent studies indicate that in 2012, 420,000 people were injured in automobile accidents due to drivers who were texting and driving. In this year, 49 percent of adults surveyed openly admitted to this practice while on American highways. While teens are twice as likely to be involved in distracted driving accidents, only 43 percent openly admitted to sending and receiving messages while behind the wheel.
Distracted Driving Statistics
Drivers who send and receive text messages while driving increase their risk of being in a crash by 23 percent. These rates are congruent with statistics of drivers who drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Studies have also shown that:
- Drivers who text while driving have the same reaction time of a seventy year-old driver.
- Hands free text message devices do not lower the increased risk of accidents and fatalities for distracted drivers.
- 65 percent of teen drivers indicate that their distracted driving habits are directly influenced by whether or not their parents text and drive.
- In 2010, cell phone use in an automobile was the cause of 18 percent of driving fatalities.
As cell phones and electronic tablets become more complicated with advanced applications, the epidemic of distracted driving continues to rise. Lawmakers are currently studying these terrifying statistics and lobbying for strict new laws to protect motorists against distracted drivers. Currently, Federal employees and airline pilots are not permitted to use cell phones while on official business. Enforcing such policies can be difficult and expensive. Drivers must remain vigilant against distracted drivers.
Are You the Victim of a Careless Distracted Driver?
Texting while operating a vehicle is reckless and can have serious consequences for both the driver and innocent bystanders and include injuries and death. If you experience an accident or injury from the careless behavior of a distracted driver, it is important you seek the representation of a personal injury attorney to protect your rights.
Any driver that causes harm to others due to texting and driving will not only face criminal prosecution, they may also be held liable for damages in a civil case. If you or a family member has been injured or killed by a distracted driver, contact us today. We will review your case and fight for compensation for your pain, suffering, medical costs, and lost wages.
Christopher Steven is an avid blogger who is passionate about encouraging general safety and safe driving practices for everyone in the community. Christopher with the Gorospe & Smith Personal Injury Law Firm website in Tulsa, OK.