Please raise your hands if you have EVER texted while driving. Okay, wow. That’s quite a few people.
Imagine this: You have a date scheduled later that night with the person of your dreams. You can’t believe you even lucked into a date with this person and yet your opportunity for love is right in front of you. You decide to take a short nap to ensure that you are fresh and ready for your date. You wake up and notice that it’s dark outside and you panic. Your date! You look at the clock and see that it’s 20 minutes until you’re supposed to be at the restaurant. You get dressed in a hurry and run out the door. The clock in your car says you are about ten minute early, but the restaurant is 30 minutes away. You jump on the highway, step on the gas, and then get the bright idea to send your date a text to let them know you are running a few minutes late.
As your typing the text into the cell phone, everything goes black. The next thing you know you are waking up in the ambulance with a bunch of strangers around you talking about what a bad accident you just caused. You don’t know the specifics, but one thing is for sure, you know that your entire life and your future is about to be changed forever.
Now, let’s review some of the shocking research-related statistics of people who frequently text and drive.
According to the Center for Disease Control (2013), more than nine people are killed every day due to distractions while texting.
Three main distractions that cause these deaths by motor vehicle accidents include: Visual (taking your eyes off the road), manual (taking your hands off the wheel), and cognitive, (taking your mind off driving). Unfortunately, texting requires all of these and therefore is especially dangerous.
Because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction. The best way to end distracted driving is to educate all Americans about the danger it poses. Numerous studies have ensued to determine the true danger of texting while driving. Highlights of these dangers include:
1. At 55 mph, your car travels the length of a football field in 5 seconds. 2. You are 23 times more likely to get into an accident while texting. 3. Texting while driving delays a drivers reaction time as much as having a BAC level at the legal limit. 4. According to a car and driver study, driver’s reaction time while reading and sending texts was way worse than while impaired with alcohol. 5. 37 of 50 states have already banned texting while driving.
Texting takes the driver’s attention away from the task at hand, which is driving. This distraction impairs the driver’s reaction time, which can mean serious consequences for anyone who gets in their way. A study conducted by the University of Utah shows that cell phone use while driving increases reaction time by the same amount as having a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 percent.
In another study done by Car and Driver, research was conducted to determine how long it takes drivers to react and brake while reading and sending a text message. The next slide will give you an idea of the shocking results:
So, about now you might be asking yourself what is being done to combat this problem?
Well, while many states are enacting laws to ban texting while driving, the number of texting related accidents and deaths remains high. Not only are the people actively texting while driving endangering their own lives, but they are also endangering the lives other others, including innocent children.
So how does technology fit into this equation? Well, it only seems fair that since technology is at the root of the problem via cell phones, then technology should also provide a viable solution.
Yes, my friends, there is an app for that! More accurately, there are several apps for that!
Fortunately, the telecommunications industry has taken notice....
References: Nationwide Insurance (2013). 3 Apps to Stop Texting While Driving.
Retrieved from http://www.mynationwidemagazine.com/3-apps-stop-texting-while-driving
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