Everyone is aware of the dangers of texting and driving, but for some reason, many drivers continue to do it. Your phone alerts you to a new message, and you instinctively look to see what it is. Regardless of how important you think that message might be, it is much more important to keep your eyes on the road. The few seconds you look away from the road to respond to that message could change someone’s life forever.

Celebrities and politicians, alike, have launched campaigns in an effort to raise awareness of the dangers of texting and driving. More states have begun adopting anti-texting laws as statistics continue to emphasize the perils of texting while driving. Currently, thirty-nine states have adopted ‘no texting and driving’ policies, and state lawmakers in California, as well as ten others, have taken those policies to the next level by banning hand-held phones, requiring drivers to keep their hands free for driving.

Texting and Driving Statistics There are many alarming statistics on texting and driving. Here are just a few:

• Drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be in an accident as those who don’t • In 2011, 23% of auto accidents involved a driver using a cell phone • Half of children ages 12-17 say they have been a passenger in a car where the driver was texting • One-third of teen drivers ages 16-17 report that they text and drive and 27% of adults admit to texting while driving • Fifteen percent of teens say they have seen their parents text while driving • Seventy-seven percent of teens think they can safely text while driving

Remember, no matter how important the message seems it is not worth risking an accident. While driving, keep your phone out of reach to avoid checking the message, and wait until you are stopped safely somewhere to look at your phone. If you have a passenger in the car with you, let them read the message to you, and have them respond. Don’t risk your future on a text message.