Text Messaging and Driving
Texting While Driving
A lot of focus in the news recently has been on the Boston MBTA trolley driver who was texting prior to striking another trolley. Text messaging and driving is clearly on the rise.
There have also been other high profile cases in the news where teens have been killed in vehicle accidents where probable evidence has shown that they were texting.
Statitics Don’t Lie
According to a CDC study, analyzed 2011 data on distracted driving, including talking on a cell phone or reading or sending texts or emails behind the wheel estimated 31 percent of drivers are sending or receiving text messages while behind the wheel. And, according to another poll, that number triples to 66 percent when drivers 18 to 24 are isolated.
Injuries and deaths related to sending text messages is on the rise. Activities like walking, driving, biking or skateboarding are all being done now while text messaging and driving .
Many young adults and teens are arriving in emergency departments with serious and sometimes fatal injuries because they were not paying attention while texting.
When people engage in multitasking, they lose the ability to monitor themselves while they are driving, according to a researcher at the University of Utah at Salt Lake City who has studied cell phone and motorist safety for seven years.
Dangers Of Text Messaging and Driving
The National Safety Council finds that text messaging is among the worst things a driver can do. The study found that drivers who are talking on a cell phone or texting while driving don’t process the visual environment. They may not recognize whether they are seeing a red traffic light or the onset of a brake light.
Driving Simulator Test Results
Twenty-one teens using a driving simulator while sending text messages or searching their MP3s slowed down, wove in an out of their lanes, and, in some cases, ran over pedestrians, according to a study presented to the Pediatric Academic Societies.
The bottom line is that motorist’s who text message while driving are six times more likely to be distracted and have an accident.
Texting affects a drivers response time to react to road, traffic and weather conditions. Braking response time is also 23 percent slower.
Let’s wake up people! We need to make sure our kids know this information and impress upon them not to text while driving.
Tips for Changing Your Habits
Habits can be hard to break, but these tips can help you get started:
- Turn off your phone before driving away, or store it somewhere where you can’t reach it.
- If you have an urgent call you need to attend, find a safe place to park before using your phone.
- Ask another passenger to answer your calls or messages.
- Designate a copilot that can help you use other electronics in the car such as your navigation system or the radio.
~ concord carpenter
source: National Safety Council, orlandocaraccidentlawyerblog, loftymatters.com, NECN