Texting and driving – No amount of justification makes it okay.
You may have seen it already on over 1,000 billboards across the nation, the new slogan created by Oxford student, Emily McDonald, “Better left unread than dead.” Hard hitting? Yes, straight to the point? Certainly. What reads as a harsh message, in fact does not do the underlying problem justice. Its almost impossible to get across the importance of this problem that puts so many of us in danger on a daily basis. Texting and driving is extremely dangerous and needs to stop.
Every year, about 421,000 people are injured in crashes that have involved a driver with some kind of distraction. Each year, over 330,000 accidents that are caused by texting while driving lead to severe injures. All this means that of all those “distracted” drivers, about 78% of them are distracted by one thing, their cell phone. It might surprise you to hear that it is 6x more likely to cause an accidentthan drunk driving with 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the US been caused by texting while driving. This is a very scary statistic to say the least.
It takes a distraction of just 3 seconds to cause a road accident. Even just reading your text takes at least 5 seconds. At an average speed of 55mph this would mean we would travel the length of one whole football field. Those numbers don’t add up to our SAFETY. What a lot of people want to know is what is being done about it? So many lives are being ruined because of a text that should have been left unread.
However, it is clear Governments are not being idle to the fact that these numbers are rising. In DC, and 10 other states, there are bans in place that effectively prevent drivers from using any handheld mobile device for any reason whatsoever. That means answering phone calls or even checking notifications. If it is so important, you need to safely pull over and answer. 33 of the nations states have decided to focus mainly on NEW drivers and teens, as this is where the bigger problem seems to be. 40 out of the 52 states expressly forbid all drivers from texting on their phone. The only thing still allowed is the use of maps and navigation.
There is a clear message here. No amount of justification makes this okay. If it’s urgent, pull over. If not, answer it when you are in a safe place. It only takes a moment for lives to change. Please share, and encourage safety for all drivers on our roads.
For more statistics, please visit: http://www.icebike.org/texting-and-driving/. Statistics used here were used from this article.