Jan 04, 2012 / by Alisa Hafen / No Comments

Society is becoming more and more aware of the dangers of texting while driving.  Not only is text messaging one of the leading causes of vehicle accidents; it’s one of the fastest growing distractions while driving.  The National Safety Council has urged several state and federal lawmakers to ban the use of cell phones and other text-messaging devices.  

Texting is extremely dangerous, as well as negligent.  Driving is an activity that requires full concentration; reading and sending text messages will compromise the driver’s concentration.  

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 16 and 20. Today’s average teen sends over 3,000 texts per month.  

The cellular phone has brought with it many conveniences and luxuries.  The ability to send short messages has been embraced by millions of people worldwide, as shown by the number of text messages exchanged every day.  

One of the most obvious things that happen when a driver is texting while driving is that the driver will avert his eyes from the road for around five seconds.  This is more than enough time for a person to run in front of the vehicle, or for the vehicle in front of you to make a sudden stop, or to miss seeing the light change.  One can travel the length of a football field in that amount of time.

Public outrage has been spurred by a number of high-profile collisions over the practice of driving while texting.  In May of 2009 a trolley driver was charged with gross negligence after causing an accident, which injured 62 people.  In a similar incident, 25 people were killed and 101 injured when a commuter train collided with a freight train – the result of the commuter train operator’s inattention while texting.  

Most drivers said they are willing to answer a call or text while driving, but most of these same drivers said they would feel unsafe as a passenger in a car where the driver was sending or receiving text messages.  When you text, you are thinking about what to say, as well as reading incoming messages rather than paying attention to what you are doing or where you are going.  

This will significantly up the risks of getting hurt or injuring others.  It doesn’t matter if you can text without looking at the keypad.  Even if texting feels like second nature, your brain is still trying to do two things at once – and one of them is bound to get less attention.

Texting also prevents you from paying close attention to what’s going on around you, something that’s especially important in situations where you need to have your guard up.  Your reaction time is also likely to be much slower if you’re texting.  If you’re about to run into someone or something else, you may not have time to act before it’s too late.   

“Leave Sooner, Drive Slower and Live Longer.”