Admit it. You text while you drive. Are you trying to kill yourself or what?
A recent national survey of young drivers, those between the ages of 18 and 24, reveals the following:
- 36% admitted to texting while driving.
- 48% thought driving under the influence is more dangerous than texting while driving.
- 48% thought texting while driving carries the same amount of danger as driving under the influence.
Unfortunately, statistics show that if you’re a young driver who texts while driving, you are nearly twice as likely to continue to engage in this dangerous practice than any other age group, making you twice as likely to involve yourself in an accident.
Texting By the Numbers
Between 2012 and 2018, texting while driving accounted for 9% of all fatal crashes nationwide. Additional statistics for this period reveal the following:
- 7% of all drivers on the road at any given time are using their cellphones.
- 14% of all fatal crashes involve cellphones.
- Answering a text distracts you for approximately five seconds, enough time to travel the length of a football field if you’re going only 55 miles per hour.
- Texting while driving increases your time spent with your eyes off the road by 400%.
- Cellphone usage while driving caused approximately 1.5 million U.S. car crashes in 2017 alone.
- 4,637 people died in a car crash in 2018 alone due to cellphone usage.
- Using a cellphone while driving, whether hand-held or hands-free, delays your reaction time the same as if you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%, the legal limit in most states.
The Hands-Free, Risk-Free Myth
Perhaps the most dangerous myth in existence today is the one that says hands-free is risk-free, meaning that if you use hands-free technology to talk or text on your cellphone while driving, that’s okay because you and everyone around you is safe. If you believe this myth, you have been grossly misinformed.
Admittedly, using hands-free cellphone technology while driving lets you keep your hands on the steering wheel and your eyes theoretically on the road. But that doesn’t make it — or you — safe. Consider the following:
- Your brain can use only 67% of its capacity to see and process motion around you when you’re using your cellphone.
- It can use only 50% of its capacity to see and process stationary objects around you when you’re using your cellphone.
- Using hands-free technology to use your cellphone while driving is actually more dangerous than doing it the old fashioned way.
Safe Driving versus Immediate Gratification
It goes without saying that we need safe drivers on our streets, roads, highways, and freeways and that you need to be one of them. But you can’t be if you insist on using your cellphone while behind the wheel.
Unfortunately, social media has become the addiction of choice for millions of people. Probably one of the main reasons is that you can talk, text, read, and post virtually any time, any place. This makes it far to easy for you to get your “fix” whenever you want to. But ask yourself: is your life or the life of someone else really worth feeding your addiction while you’re driving?