Driving is a task that requires all of your attention. Unfortunately, many drivers in Texas seem to be focused on almost anything except the road. Distracted driving can take many forms, but one of the most ubiquitous issues is texting and driving.
Smartphones are virtually everywhere in today’s society, and you would be hard pressed to find someone who does not own one. Phone use behind the wheel is more than just problematic though — it is also dangerous. Cell phone usage is linked to approximately 1.6 million car crashes each and every year, many of which cause serious injuries or even death.
Why is texting and driving so dangerous?
Taking your eyes off the road for any amount of time increases the risk of causing an accident by an astounding 400%. When texting and driving, a driver’s hands as well as focus are shifted off of the task at hand and onto the phone instead. This reduces his or her ability to react to things like:
- Stop lights
- Braking vehicles
- Road signs
It is not safe to use a phone while at a stop light, either. Breaking your focus to check an email or text message is dangerous to everyone on the road. Considering that phones play a role in 14% of all deadly car accidents, it is best to keep phones well out of reach while driving.
Why do people text and drive?
Many drivers overestimate their abilities behind the wheel. Because of this, some drivers who know that it is wrong to text and drive continue to do so because they believe they are better at it. According to an expert, most people already falsely believe that they have above average driving abilities, so adding on the expectation that they can text and drive is not that farfetched.
Another contributing factor is the popular myth of multitasking. Research shows that it is impossible to give 100% of your attention to more than one thing at a time. Instead, your brain rapidly switches back and forth between tasks, diminishing your focus. Unfortunately, there are drivers who understand that multitasking is virtually impossible, but still believe they are the exceptions to the rule.
Texting vs. drunk driving
One of the reasons that texting and driving is so dangerous is because it mimics drunk driving behavior. Perhaps the most upsetting part of this though is that texting and driving is six times as likely to cause a collision compared with drunk driving. There is a bit of a gender difference when it comes to risk factors though, as women tend to text and drive more often, while men are more likely to drink and drive.
Texting and driving accidents tend to be severe. Unfortunately, you may know this all too well. As you focus on your recovery, you might be wondering how you will deal with your medical bills and lost wages. While everyone’s situation is different, many victims in Texas choose to pursue personal injury claims to help secure compensation for their related damages.