How to Avoid Texting and Driving
We all know the danger of texting and driving. There are plenty of PSAs about it out there by now. And I’m sure we’ve all witnessed someone driving through an intersection while they’re on their phone… regardless of whether or not the light was red. But, when our phone vibrates, rings or flashes we think, “I can respond to that message quickly enough. It’ll only take me a second…” While that might be true, a lot can transpire in just a few seconds. Especially, when you’re driving at 55mph. It takes the full length of a football field to come to a complete stop at that speed. A couple of seconds on your phone when traffic comes to a dead stop—there’s no way you can brake in time.
However, there are ways that you can prevent the temptation of texting while driving. Be sure to implement one of these strategies before starting the car.
- If you know you can’t help yourself, put your phone out of reach. The glove box or even the trunk is a good place for that.
- If you’re worried about having it out of reach in case of an accident, turn it on silent or power your phone down instead.
- Maybe there’s someone else riding with you. Have a designated texter in the car to take care of that for you. Before you begin driving, hand them your phone and let them read any incoming messages to you and reply if necessary.
- There’s an app for that! You may not already know this, but there are apps available to prevent texting while driving. For example, one app will lock your phone immediately when you engage in speeds faster than 10mph. Got a teen driver in the family? This is a great way to ensure that they pay attention to the road.
Texting and Driving Statistics
According to the National Safety Council, texting and driving causes 1,600,000 accidents per year.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Fatality Facts reports that texting and driving is responsible for 11 teen deaths EVERY DAY. Furthermore, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration states that nearly 25% of ALL car accidents are a result of texting and driving. Those are some frightening statistics. The NHTSA compares texting and driving to driving after consuming four beers which makes you 23 times more likely to crash.
Forty three states along with D.C., Guam, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico have banned texting and driving for all drivers. Although the bans are in effect for most states, texting fines vary across the country. In California for example, the maximum penalty for a first-time offender is $20. In Alaska, texting and driving can cost you $10,000 and a year in prison.
If stiffer fines were put in place, well-enforced texting and driving laws may work. But only because most drivers would rather avoid paying such hefty fines. While increasing the fines associated with texting and driving may help decrease distracted driving, there still needs to be a cultural change among drivers today. Texting and driving has become all too normal. Most drivers may think that the statistics don’t apply to them, or that they’re good enough at multi-tasking to avoid an accident. But, it isn’t a matter of “oh, that’ll never happen to me”. It’s time for the statistics of fatalities attributed to texting and driving to decrease. Car Struction may be a collision repair shop, but we want you to be safe out there.