Distracted driving, in all of its forms, is horrible behavior and one that leads to more car accidents out on the road. But one of distracted driving’s forms, texting while driving, is the most insidious of all, because it can be avoided by simply waiting to take one’s gaze off the road to view the text message.
Texting while driving can be more dangerous than most people realize – if you’re traveling at 55 mph and look down to check, open your phone, respond and hit send, you will have traveled the entire length of a football field; assuming that it only takes you 5 seconds to reply! If it takes 10 second to reply, it is the same as if you drove through two football fields, blindfolded! Without your full attention on the road, you simply won’t have enough time to react to a situation if you’re engrossed in your electronic devices.
Driving requires the full attention of motorists, from young drivers and teen drivers, to the motorists who have been driving for decades. The dangers of distracted driving does not care about someone’s age, race or gender, old and young people alike need to keep their hands on the steering wheel and their full attention on the road ahead, which in turn should reduce motor vehicle crashes from texting while driving.
Cellphones have infiltrated our lives across the United States, and the level of distracted drivers and motor vehicle accidents that are caused by those texting while driving have skyrocketed, and the serious injuries that accompany such car accidents are on the rise as well. It can be more dangerous to engage in texting while driving than driving with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit.
The temptation to text while driving seems to be greater for young drivers, who have now grown up with texting as part of their everyday life. It’s found that the majority of young people would rather send a text message than make a phone call, making hands-free options more complex when trying to respond to a text only message without taking your full attention off the road. AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign was designed to encourage motorists (both old and young drivers) to simply wait to answer the text.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) has guidelines and rules, along with local, state and federal laws against motorists engaging in texting while driving to try and avoid the thousands of fatal crashes that happen every year. According to this National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study, there were 2,841 deaths as a result of distracted driving in 2018. Texting has been shown to be the leading cause of death among teens in car accidents.
When the person indulging in a distraction is a commercial truck driver, everyone else on the road assumes the vast majority of the risk. Missouri is one of a few states left that does not outlaw texting behind the wheel for adults.
However, that law only applies to people driving passenger vehicles. There are federal rules in place that prohibit commercial truck drivers from texting while driving or otherwise engaging in screen-based distraction from onboard or handheld devices while at the wheel. No matter how careful you are around trucks, you can’t control the drivers’ poor choices.
The dangers of texting and driving are clear as the statistics bear it out and logic tells us we can’t have our eyes focus on two things at once. Social media has been a force for good by spreading the word of waiting to check your texts, but it also is one of the ways people get distracted while driving; to make a post on their social media account while driving down the road!
If you’ve been injured in a car crash from someone texting while driving, or was otherwise distracted while driving, then please call our Kansas City based law firm, and talk with a personal injury attorney about your case. We offer free consultations to review your driving accident case and see what kind of claim you may have.
We have experience in working with insurance companies, law enforcement, and personal injury cases. Call the law firm of Peddicord & Townsend LLC today for a free consultation.