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Texting and Driving Statistics: Bad For Everyone
In 2018, there were 36,750 deaths related to car accidents and of these fatalities, 5.7% were due to the driver texting and driving or talking on their cell phone.
Texting while driving has become such a massive problem that 48 states banned texting and driving in 2019.
In 2017, there were 37,133 deaths due to car wrecks. About 434 people are killed because the driver was using their cell phone at the time of the collision.
Research shows that the act of texting, even for short periods, can still disorient drivers. Each time you look away from the road and then look back, you have to re-orient yourself. That means you have to refocus your vision on the road and notice where any cars, people, or other objects around you are now located.
As a driver, you must process new information you receive each time you look away and be ready to react if changes occur. Maybe a car that was in the next lane just a moment ago suddenly swerves into your lane. Maybe a dog that wasnít previously in your line of sight bolts into the roadway. Situations can change in a nanosecond. Faster than your mind can process the change if you are distracted.
- It Takes 5 Seconds to Read the Average Text Message
According to the United States Department of Transportation, it takes 5 seconds to read a text. During those precious seconds that your eyes are off the road, you can drive the length of a football field. Considering how much distance you could cover while distracted by a text message, it leaves ample opportunity for an accident to occur. While youíre busy reading a text message, a small child could chase a ball out into the street, or a car could back out of a driveway. This is why texting and driving is very bad.
- Smartphone App Use Leads to Distracted Driving
Stated in driving reports by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 36% of drivers use a smartphone app at a red light or stop sign. More concerning is the 35% of drivers who continue to use the phone or app while driving. The leading reason for people using a cell phone while driving was for listening to music or a podcast. Around 41.2% of drivers stated they use a smartphone app for this reason.
- Texting Doubles the Odds of Being in a Car Accident
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted a study in 2018 and found that texting while driving doubles the chances for a car accident.
In the 5 seconds that you spend reading or writing a text message, youíre leaving yourself wide open to an accident. Since itís feasible youíre traveling the distance of a football field, it makes ample sense that youíre doubling your risk for a car wreck.
- Distracted Driving Breaks Down Into Three Categories
As we mentioned earlier, distracted driving comes in three different forms: visual, manual, and cognitive.
A visual distraction means that your eyes leave the road. If youíre reading a text message or using a smartphone app to turn on music, your eyes are on the phone instead of the road. This is a visual distraction.
When thereís a manual distraction, your hands are off the wheel. There are several ways in which you might be led to have this type of distracted driving. Examples of manual distraction would be if youíre unwrapping a candy bar to eat while driving or rummaging through a purse or backpack for your phone.
Cognitive distraction translates to your mind being preoccupied and not focused on the task of driving. You experience cognitive distraction when you daydream while driving or become too engrossed in conversation with a passenger.
- Texting While Driving Is More Dangerous Than Intoxication
Texting while you are driving is more dangerous than if you are under the influence of alcohol. According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, you are six times more likely to be in a motor vehicle crash while driving if youíre texting, versus if you were intoxicated. Texting while driving gives the driver the same response time as a person who has drunk four beers in a single hour.
- Teens Have Smartphone Addiction
Around 50% of teenagers believe they have a smartphone addiction problem. When you combine this addiction with this age groupís inexperience at driving, itís a recipe for disaster. In fact, almost 80% of teens check their smartphones multiple times every hour. Considering that around 72% of young drivers feel a pressing need to respond right away to a text equals a lot of teens being distracted while driving.
- Car Accidents Are the Leading Cause of Death for Teens
Fatal crashes is the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States. Every day, six teenagers die from a car crash. Many of these wrecks were preventable if the teen hadnít been distracted while driving. This is why it is so important to stress to teenagers to not use the phone while. In 2017, over 2,000 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 died in a car accident. About 300,000 managed to survive their car wreck but were rushed to the hospital to be treated for severe injuries