Texting While Driving: The New Danger

A Belgian project tricked teens into thinking that in order to successfully pass their driving tests, they needed to text and drive at the same time. The teens’ reactions as they attempted the test said it all – that the practice was dangerous and could harm lives.

Here is one concrete fact: texting while driving does harm lives. In 2011, 23% of car accidents involved cell phones – that added up to 1.3 million potentially-preventable crashes.

Why is Texting and Driving So Dangerous?
We’re a multi-tasking population. People are used to doing a million things at once: cooking, working, watching TV, and talking on the phone all at the same time. However, driving is one activity that cannot be multitasked. When you’re on the road, driving at a high speed amidst unanticipated situations, a second of reduced attention could mean an accident.

Among driving distractions, texting is probably the biggest culprit, because texting takes your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds. If you’re driving at 89 km/hour, this means you would drive the entire length of a football field without watching the road!

In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that texting while driving is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated.

How Can You Avoid Texting While Driving?
While you may be convinced that texting while driving is dangerous, what do you do when you get on the road and your phone beeps next to you? Try these tips to make texting while driving less enticing:

  • Put your phone in a place you can’t reach it so you’re not tempted to text
  • If you’re in a texting conversation before you head out, alert your friend that you’ll be driving and won’t be able to respond
  • Turn your phone to silent
  • If you need to talk to someone in an emergency situation, pull off somewhere safe to respond
  • If you feel you need something to entertain you while driving, listen to music, the radio, or an audio book

Remember, texting while driving isn’t a minor issue. It’s a serious danger to you and anyone driving around you on the road.

The next time you’re tempted to text while you drive, remember that it is banned in all provinces in Canada. Remember that it has caused millions of crashes. Remember that it’s easy to turn your phone to silent, put it away, and forget about it until you’re safely parked at your destination. If you’d like to learn how to drive safer in the Vancouver area, contact us today.

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