The Dangers of Texting and Driving: What You Need to Know
With the number of bans on cell phones, hand-held devices, and texting escalating around the United States, it could be argued that it is now more cost-prohibitive than ever to be texting and driving. But the facts speak for themselves: texting and driving has always come with high risk.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) site dedicated entirely to making the public aware of the dangers of distracted driving, cell phone usage was reported in eighteen percent of distraction-related roadway fatalities in America. The Distraction.gov research compendium page gathers a number of relevant studies conducted by the NHTSA and a number of other reputable organizations.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cites a Pew survey as stating that forty percent of American teens polled say that they have been in a vehicle with a driver who was at one point or another using a cell phone in an irresponsible fashion. What’s more, the FCC points to data from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute that shows text messaging while driving increases the risk of vehicular crash over that of non-distracted driving by twenty-three percent.
Additionally, TextingAndDrivingSafety.com reports that looking away from the road to text takes about five seconds of your attention, which equals out to driving the length of an entire football field without looking at speeds of 55 miles per hour.
It all adds up to a dangerous habit that, at best, will net you a substantial fine and loss of license privileges and, at worst, cost you or other road travelers their lives. The next time you are texting and driving, remember that it pays to wait.