There is alarming evidence that distracted driving is not only dangerous, but can also often be deadly. In 2010, roughly 3,000 people were killed in accidents involving distracted drivers and almost half a million were injured in such crashes. Whether someone is talking on the phone or sending a text message, the distractions are causing car crashes that lead to injury and sometimes death.
A recent report showed that about half of the people under 35 who own cell phones send or read text messages while driving. They are at risk for slow reaction time when turning corners and stopping at intersections. There is also the possibility that they may not have their eyes on the road and not see a person or object in the road ahead until it is too late.
It is impossible to hold two conversations simultaneously without neglecting one of the parties. Those who drive and talk on their cell phone are four times more likely to get into serious auto accidents resulting in personal injury of either the driver, a passenger, of the other party. The risk of crashing while texting is also higher than that of drivers who do not text.
It just takes a second of looking away from the road for something dreadful to happen. Even such things as eating or turning your head to look at the kids in the backseat can make the difference between safety and tragedy. If the activity is too time consuming, it is best to save it until there is a safe place to pull over and make your calls.
More than half of young drivers believe they can handle texting while driving, but the sad statistics tell a different story. Drivers need to give their full attention to the road in order to see and reaction to all of the things around them. Simply put, wait until you can get off the road to return your messages or you may be putting your life and that of others in jeopardy.
*Photo Courtesy of Peyman Faghir Mirnezami via Creative Commons License