Want to become 23 times more likely to crash with just the swipe of a finger? Text while driving.
There is no doubt that smartphones keep us connected, but they pose serious safety risks if used to text, email, phone or use any application while driving. At any given time throughout the day, approximately 660,000 drivers are attempting to use their phones while behind the wheel. And not only are drivers using their cell phones, researchers have found that drivers are engaging in self-regulation when deciding whether to use their phones while driving. This means drivers are convincing themselves they are being safe and alert and therefore, are excused from the laws of physics, nature and statistics.
If you are driving at 55 mph and take your eyes off the road for the average amount of time it takes to text (five seconds), you will have traveled the length of a football field without looking at the road. But for some reason, many drivers are still willing to take the risk, as 'fear of missing out' and technology separation anxiety keep them from abiding by the law.
While the CDC lists car crashes as the leading cause of death for teens, texting while driving is at epidemic proportions and a scary phenomenon on US roads, regardless of the age. Even though 46 states (plus Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands) have banned texting for drivers, a staggering 49 percent of adults admit to texting and driving. What’s worse is that 98% of them say they know the practice is unsafe.
Rather than repetitive pleas and logic, perhaps a list of alarming data will help ring true the dangers.
2 –the number of seconds a driver can safely glance away from the road while operating a motor vehicle.
5 –the number of seconds, on average, drivers take their eyes off the road to send a text message.
9 --Americans killed every day from motor vehicle accidents that involved distracted driving.
1 in 4 –the probability that a motor vehicle crash involved a cellphone
40% --the percentage of teens who say they have been a passenger in a car whose driver used a cellphone in a way that put them in danger
33% --the percentage of U.S. drivers ages 18 to 64 who reported reading or writing text messages while driving in the previous month.
In comparison, only 15% of drivers from Spain reported texting while driving in the same period 390,000 –the number of motor vehicle injury crashes each year that involve texting 3,450 –fatalities in 2016 from cell phone use while driving; 263 of them teens (age 15-19) 1.6 million –crashes each year due to cell phone use while driving.
There are no right times to text and drive. There are no reasons why you can’t wait until you are parked safely to use your phone. And there is no excuses for anyone to do otherwise. Consider the alternative, avoid becoming one of the above statistics and put the phone down!