Texting drivers are 23.2 times more likely than a non-distracted driver to be involved in a crash!
By Warren Todd, Esq.
For years I have litigated cases against drivers who were responsible for causing car wrecks and personal injuries because they were too busy talking on their cell phones when they should have been paying attention to road. These days, texting is all the rage. Just about everyone has a cell phone that can be used to send a text message or email. Texting while driving is more of a problem than talking on the phone. In fact, some studies show that texting while driving has been found to be as dangerous or even more dangerous than drunk driving accidents.
There have been numerous studies related to cell phone use while driving. The National Safety Counsel has even published a fact sheet titled “Cell Phone Use While Driving”. Interestingly, the National Safety Counsel finds that cell phone use while driving is “high risk behavior” and that there is no difference between hand held and hands free.
By comparison, a recent study published by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute on July 27, 2009, found that texting was significantly more risky. While dialing and talking on the cell phone did increase the chances of being in a crash, a texting driver was 23.2 times more likely than a non-distracted driver to be involved in a crash. This in large part appears to be due to the lengthy period of time that the average texting driver takes their eyes off the road–4.6 seconds over a 6 second interval. The study compared this to driving the length of a football field at 55 mph without ever looking at the road.
Not only is texting distracting, but also it limits the driver’s ability to keep their hands on the steering wheel. While I have seen some pretty impressive texters in the short time texting has been around (most under the age of 18), I have yet to meet anyone who can text with no hands. Point is that if you have to use at least one hand to text while driving (two for 30 plus crowd), what happened to two hands on the wheel?
Because texting while driving is perceived to be such a serious risk to drivers and families on our highways and roads, some states have already banned texting while driving, and the U.S. Senate is proposing legislation to ban texting while driving. Regardless of whether this legislation passes, be a safe driver and avoid being distracted when you are driving whether that might involve texting, talking on the phone, eating, or even yes, for some people, shaving or putting on make-up on the way to work. Your life might depend on it!
If you have been involved in a car accident and suffered serious personal injuries as a result of the other driver texting contact our Pensacola personal injury lawyers for a FREE accident injury case consultation.