The problem of texting while driving has been an increasing concern over the past few years. Using a cell phone to communicate via text message has become commonplace. The temptation to ‘just send out one quick text’ while driving is huge, and so are the potential consequences of doing so. Distracted driving affects all of us who travel on the road ways but there are certain factors that appear to make you more likely to engage in texting while driving. The most influential factor appears to be age. According to distraction.gov, the official U.S. government website for distracted driving, among fatal crashes with drivers under the age of 20, 11% were the direct result of distracted driving. This is the highest percentage of any reported age group.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies the three types of driving distractions as visual, manual, and cognitive. Texting combines all three types into one dangerous transaction. It is estimated that sending out or reading one text message requires you to look away from the road for 4.6 seconds (visual distraction). Texting requires you to remove your hand(s), often times both hands, which then requires you to steer with your knees, to send the message (manual distraction). Texting and reading text messages also requires some thought which takes away from your attention to the road and the task of driving (cognitive distraction). Another element that makes texting while driving especially dangerous is that it’s easy to get into a texting ‘conversation’ which requires you to engage in reading incoming text messages and responding to them repeatedly which obviously increases the risks of an already risky behavior.
Although it’s a good idea to completely refrain from texting while driving, you should be aware of the distracted driving laws in your state. Currently 39 states and the District of Columbia have a ban on text messaging while driving and new laws are frequently added to the books.
Roberts & Roberts Law Firm is a wrongful death law firm located in Tyler, Texas. For more information, please visit us at www.robertslawfirm.com.