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Put Down That Phone!

The Dangers of Texting and Driving

default article imageWe’ve all done it. As you’re driving, you hear your phone ring. You check the text, reply, and throw it back onto the passenger seat, all while keeping a steady speed. No one died, right? No harm done. Plus, you can drive while texting, you know what you’re doing.

Well in those five seconds it took for you to answer that text, you may have traveled the length of a football field.

Seems a little dangerous to do without really paying attention, doesn’t it?

Up until recently, texting while driving had not been taken very seriously. But since there were about 6,000 deaths caused by distracted driving in 2009, people have begun to realize how dangerous texting while driving can really be; and have tried to stop it.

Studies done by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, one of the leading vehicle safety investigation institutes in the world, showed that while a teenager is texting behind the wheel, he or she spends at least 10 percent of that time outside the driving lane they are supposed to be in.

The study also showed that drivers using a hand held device are four times more likely to be in a serious crash than those that are not distracted while driving. At that point, why even risk it? I’m sure any information you were going to get from that text can wait until you are safely parked and off the road.

According to CBS News, 97 percent of Americans agree that the habit should be illegal.

President Obama signed an Executive Order directing federal employees not to engage in text messaging while driving government-owned vehicles; when using electronic equipment supplied by the government while driving; or while driving privately owned vehicles when they’re on official government business, as reported by the Office of Public Affairs.

Tom Dingus, Director of the Virginia Tech institute, agreed with President Obama and the Office of Public Affairs that texting while driving “should be illegal.”

If the President of the United States is getting involved, you know this is a big deal.

Yes, answering that text you just received while still driving may be convenient at the time, but it is just not worth it.

Not only is it dangerous for you, but also for the drivers around you.

Studies show that for every six seconds of driving, a driver sending or receiving a text spends at least 4.6 of those seconds not looking at the road, making texting the most distracting cell phone task.

This, along with many other reasons, is why states across the country are now trying to make texting while driving illegal. Although many police officers believe that catching someone texting while behind the wheel is more difficult than catching someone, for instance, talking on the phone or not wearing a seat belt, it must still be done.

With your help, texting while driving can be eliminated.

A revolution only needs one person to start it; eventually others will follow. Just remember, that text you got isn’t as important as your life, so put down the phone.