7 Facts About Texting That Can Save a Life
Multitasking has increased in the last few years to astronomical heights. With one hand and a smartphone you can watch a YouTube video, send an email, play a game, voice chat and place a call in a five-minute span. However, with much power comes much responsibility because NOW that we have this access 24-7, it has carried over into our driving habits.
For some time, researchers have been telling us to focus only on driving, quoting a greatly increased chance of accident, injury and death when we distractedly call a friend or answer a ringing cell phone.
Now, new research has revealed the most dangerous driver distraction of all: texting.
A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, along with prior studies by Liberty Mutual Insurance and state-funded organizations located online, reveals the shocking statistics of texting behind the wheel:
· Texting while driving increases the risk of accident 23.2 times over unimpaired driving.
· Texting while driving results in longer response times than even drunken driving. While an unimpaired driver can respond quickly to changes in traffic and begin braking within half a second, a legally drunk driver needs four additional feet to begin braking—and a driver who’s texting needs 70.
· In the moments before a crash or near crash, drivers typically spend nearly five seconds looking at their mobile devices—enough time at typical highway speeds to cover more area than the length of a football field.
· Though 95 percent of drivers surveyed said texting behind the wheel was unacceptable and unsafe, at least 21 percent admit to doing it anyway.
· Especially amongst teens, texting results in erratic driving behavior, like lane weaving and speeding up and down, increasing the likelihood of hurting pedestrians and running into other vehicles.
· Texting behind the wheel is generational: 37 percent of drivers 18 to 27 admit to texting while driving, compared to 14 percent of 28 to 44 year olds, and 2 percent of 45 to 60 year olds.
· An accident can happen in two to three seconds while texting.