Why is texting while driving so dangerous?
A study recently published in the international journal “Risk Analysis” should concern drivers of all nations. Researchers administered a questionnaire to 447 drivers in Australia. Drivers were asked various questions about their attitude and frequency of texting while driving. An alarming 68 percent of those polled did not believe texting while driving is dangerous. Even further, those that acknowledge the hazards continued to text and drive due to fear of missing out. Our Albuquerque car accident attorneys at MPJ Law Firm explore the results of this new study and the true dangers of texting while driving below.
Women and New Drivers More Likely to Text
The Risk Analysis poll found that female drivers and less experienced drivers were more likely than others to use their cellphone while behind the wheel. For every year that a driver held a driver’s license, the risk of cellphone use declined. Drivers who text and drive often develop strategies that they believe allow for safe cell phone use. For instance, they may only text when at stops or in heavy traffic. Drivers who were skeptical as to the dangers of texting while driving was most likely to use their phones behind the wheel, but did indicate police presence acted as a deterrent.
Distracted Driving Greatly Increases Accident Rates
According to the Society for Risk Analysis, talking on the cell phone increases your risk of a car accident by 2.2 times. Texting while driving drastically increases the risk of a crash by 6.1 times. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that over 3,400 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2016, while another 391,000 were injured.
Any distraction that pulls your attention from the road is dangerous, but texting while driving is widely believed to be the most hazardous activity. Texting while driving distracts the driver at all levels. Texting draws the driver’s eyes down and away from the road, occupies at least one of the driver’s hands, and mentally distracts the driver. All of these factors can greatly increase accident rates.
It can be tempting to text while driving. To help fight the urge, consider installing one of several apps that block texting when you are behind the wheel. Invest in a hands free device and pull over in a safe location if you urgently need to respond to a message.
Posted in: Automobile Accidents