It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that texting while driving kills – period.
It is no surprise to Americans that the number of deaths on the road are on the rise due to texting while driving. Personal injury lawyers across the national are seeing more of these cases every day. There is no need for it. It makes no sense to text yourself to death, when what you have to say to someone, or what they have to say to you, can wait for another time. We never used to have mobile devices in vehicles that distract the driver, and we are still alive. We never used to have phones in vehicles either, and things worked out just fine.
Mobile technology is terrific, but it has its place, and that is not in a vehicle, being used by the driver, while the car or truck is in motion. What is the response to these unnecessary deaths? Many communities are passing laws making it illegal to text and drive. The problem is, even with the law, people think it does not apply to them, and they drive while distracted in spite of the law.
Just about 20 percent of all accidents in 2009 were the end result of someone texting while driving. It is now becoming even more lethal than visual and cognitive distractions, because it involves all three deadly diversions at once – visual, cognitive and manual.
By 2010, the beginnings of a fatal trend involving texting were starting to emerge. The National Safety Council estimated that 28 percent of all accidents each year were the result of people using cell phones or texting while behind the wheel of their vehicle. That amounts to just about 1.6 million people. The most common users of cell phones that are guilty of the highest texting records in the nation? Teens. Just about 50 percent of them admit they text while driving — an accident looking for a place to happen, made even worse by their lack of experience driving in the first place.
Here is another non-surprise: using a cell phone while driving messes up the driver’s reaction time, in much the same manner as someone that has a blood alcohol content of 0.08. They are impaired: their brain is not processing information effectively. Cell phone usage reduces the brain’s ability to focus on driving by up to a whopping 37 percent.
There’s a wakeup call in those numbers, but too many people are not listening, arguing that it is their right to use their phones in their cars. These people often find that argument doesn’t hold much water when they kill someone else, or kill themselves because they were texting about what to wear to a party. Be safe out there. Your life depends on it.