Texting And Driving Statistics Every Car Owner Needs to Know
You’ve probably seen the billboards that tell you not to text and drive. At the bottom of the billboard, in large block text, you’re asked to text a number to learn more about texting and driving. That doesn’t make much sense does it, especially as you’re most likely driving when you see the billboard. Regardless of signs and commercials telling motorists not to text on the road, people text anyway. How many times have you been stuck in traffic, or stopped at a red light, or even moving at high speeds, only to see the people around you looking down at their screens? It happens a lot. You yourself might even be guilty of checking your phone to see if you got a text back.
We tell ourselves that if we’re at a stop sign or signal light, we can safely check our phone. Because we’re not in motion, we have a false sense of safety. If we’re completely stopped, we naively believe that checking our social media feed is harmless.
The ramifications of texting and driving are very real. Illegal in many states, texting has become one of the leading causes of death among American teenagers, with more than 3,000 dying every year. More teens die in texting and driving related accidents than alcohol related accidents. What does that say about the dangers of texting and driving?
Distracted Driving: The Motorist
There are two ways to protect yourself and others from an accident: defensive driving and liability auto insurance. Let’s take a look at what happens when motorists decide to drive less than responsibly:
According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT), over 1 million people are killed in traffic collisions every year globally, with another 20 million sustaining debilitating injuries. In 2014, over 430,000 of the 1 million accidents on the road were caused by distracted drivers. And as of 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation has found that over half a million motorists use their electronics while driving.
There might be some readers out there who still think driving under the influence is worse, but think again. Driving under the influence of alcohol is facing a decline. And though it still is a serious danger (and unquestionably illegal), distracted driving is the equivalent to having drunk four beers and has steadily increased among drivers, as found by the Brain Injury Society.
Now you might be thinking to yourself that checking your phone only takes about two seconds, and it can feel that way—but it’s just not true. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) learned that motorists who texted behind the wheel spent 23 seconds looking away from the road, increasing their chances of an accident by two times the national average.
Distracted Driving: The Bystander
If you text and drive, it’s not just yourself that you’re putting in danger, it’s everyone else around you too. CBS News learned that close to 6,000 people were killed in distracted driving accidents by motorists who weren’t paying attention to the road. In the last five years, pedestrian deaths have risen by 50 percent with the increase in distracted driving, with cyclists deaths rising by as much as 30 percent.
These accidents didn’t occur late at night or early in the morning when the horizon plays tricks on motorists’ eyes. These accidents happened during normal daylight hours. It isn’t the environment or weather that’s to blame for these accidents, it’s distracted drivers. Grandmothers, brothers, daughters and friends die every day because of someone else’s lapse in judgment. Do you want to be responsible for the death of someone’s child, someone’s parent? Do you want to be responsible for forever altering someone’s life? One slip up can change a person’s life forever. Don’t text and drive.