Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind.

There are three types of distracted driving, manual, visual and cognitive. Texting while driving is the perfect example of utilizing all three types of distracted driving at once. When you look down at your phone, your eyes are off of the road for an average of 4.6 seconds (visual distraction), during that time your mind is focused on your text message (cognitive distraction), and one or more hands are involved in the actions of the texting motion (physical distraction). At 4.6 seconds of visual distraction at 55 mph, texting while driving is the equivalent of driving an entire length of a football field blind. This is a clear example of why texting while driving is not only dangerous, it kills.

Driving while using a mobile device reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%.

When you text while driving you not only endanger yourself, but the people in your vehicle and those on the road around you. Texting while driving increases your risk of getting in an accident by an astonishing 23 percent. Teens under age 20 are most tempted to text while driving with a reported 40% of all American teens admitting to have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger.

Texting While driving is Not the Only Activity under the Distracted Driving Category

According to a HealthDay poll from November 2011, most adults who drive admit to engaging in distracted driving behaviors. This poll included 2,800 American adults and results found that:

  • Approximately 86% of drivers have admitted to occasionally eating or drinking while driving
  • Approximately 37% of drivers have texted while driving at least once, while 18% of drivers have said they have formed the habit of doing it often
  • 41% of adult drivers have set or changed a GPS system while driving, and 21% do it “more frequently”
  • Approximately 36% of adult drivers have used a map as road guidance while driving
  • At least 1 out of every 5 drivers have admitted to combing or styling their hair while driving
  • Approximately 14% of drivers have applied makeup while driving
  • Approximately 13% of adult drivers have browsed the Internet while driving

What can you do to stop this behavior?

Distracted driving is currently the number one killer of American teens. If you are a parent, talk to your teen about the dangers of distracted driving and take a pledge together in an effort to end distracted driving. Safety starts with you. Have a serious conversation with your loved ones and explain what they mean to you and how you don’t want to lose them in an accident.

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If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, find out more about how Phillips Law Firm can help you. If someone you love was killed because of a distracted driver, find out more about our wrongful death attorneys here.