Texting While Driving

No one wants to get caught red handed for texting while driving on the road. Not only is texting while driving extremely dangerous while operating a moving vehicle, but it puts the lives of other people around you at risk for serious injury or worse consequences. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving was a cause of roughly 424,000 accident-related injuries and about 3,154 fatalities in the year of 2013 alone. That’s an extremely high number of incidents that could have been prevented if either driver put their phone, snack or GPS down and focused all their attention on the road. As this information comes from only public police records, the amount of actual accidents and deaths related to reckless driving is likely to be even higher than these figures.

In the age of constant phone notifications interrupting our day, it can be extremely hard to not put down our phones and prevent distracted driving. Since we often have to step inside a car to get to our work, school or pick up a friend learning how to drive without being impaired could save a life. Every state in the country carries its own laws for not driving with full attention, so it’s crucial to understand where your region stands on the dangers of distracted driving before its too late. Overall, get educated about what factors contribute to distracted driving the most so you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe!

Don’t text and drive, especially if you’re distracted.

Types Of Distracted Driving 

Distracted driving statistics show that the majority of people have either had a phone call, texted, or checked social media while driving a moving vehicle on the road. If you’re just driving down the neighborhood block, the risk of getting into a crash may not seem that high. If you’re driving at sixty to seventy miles per hour on the highway, even glancing at your phone for a few seconds can put your safety at severe risk of crash.

Experts say that there are three main types of distracted driving that contribute to crashes, injuries and deaths in the worst case. These include distractions that negatively affect a person’s cognitive, visual, and manual abilities while operating a vehicle. Cognitive or mental distraction describes the scenario when a driver’s mind isn’t focused on driving. They may be looking at the road, but their mind may be focusing on a tough day at work or an argument with a spouse. They may be talking loudly to another passenger or become busy with a phone call with a coworker, child, or friend that takes up the majority of their capacity. As their mind starts to wander from the changing dynamic of the road, their awareness of surrounds can severely decline. While music or listening to the radio may be safe, blasting the latest tunes and singing along could pose enough of a distraction to not notice a driver suddenly slowing down or swerving too close to the vehicle.

The second type of distracted driving includes the most common impairment of decreased visual awareness. Visual distraction occurs when a driver looks at anything other than the road ahead such as their GPS, phones, laptops, a magazine, their daily agenda, or even their outfit of the day. Make sure any notifications are put on airplane mode or put your devices on “do not disturb” mode while driving so abrupt messages won’t impair your driving judgement. Even if we think we’re invincible to the grasp of texting while driving, a flirty text from a crush or an urgent question from a family member can be enough to spike our stress levels and make us grab our phone. Make sure you take care of any strong emotions or practice de-stressing before stepping out on a driving trip. Operating a car, truck or SUV can all lead to an accident or possible fatality if you can’t make sound judgements from your mind.

The last version of distracted driving revolves around manual deficiencies. Manual distraction is when the driver takes one or both hands off the wheel, plays around with their feet on the gas pedal, picks up a snack to eat, or even chugs a drink. It’s best to wait until your vehicle as at a stop light or a complete stop to engage in these activities as any sudden movements can throw the entire machine off balance. If you’re someone who regularly drinks coffee in the car on the way to work, wait until your car is sitting in traffic or until you’re closer to your destination before feeding your caffeine craving. Any hand off the wheel increases the chances of losing control and engaging in an unwanted crash. No one wants to start their day off with an expensive damage or totaled car to get fixed!

Staying Safe On The Road

Let’s all make a promise to keep each other as safe as possible while driving. Whenever you step in the car and get on the road, it’s your responsibility to prevent distracted driving behavior and stay highly alert to your surroundings. Make sure you are buckled up and so is everyone else in vehicle. Put down your phone and turn down your music so you know what is happening around you. The entire landscape of the road can suddenly change in any second and you want to be the first one to react to movements of other drivers. Since you can’t trust that surrounding drivers are as alert, you’ll also have to practice even more caution while driving in urban areas or during a heavy commute. Think of any possibilities and drive slower if you can while keeping a healthy distance from the vehicle in front. You’ll be happy staying safe while having a vehicle that withstands your countless trips on the road!

54 thoughts on “Texting While Driving

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