Stay Alive: Don’t Text and Drive!

We’ve all seen it: someone driving down the road with one hand on the steering wheel and one hand (and both eyes) on their phone. It’s alarming. Most of us think, “I would never do that!’ Until the day you’re waiting for that important text that seems like it just can’t wait.

But it can. And it has to.

Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distraction while driving. Even just answering your phone can take your eyes off the road for 5 seconds, which, at 55 miles per hour, is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field without looking. Texting leads to a 400% increase in time spent with your eyes off the road and makes your odds of a crash 23 times more likely. People who are texting while driving are actually 6 times more likely to have an accident than someone who is driving drunk, with estimates claiming that texting while driving is responsible for one in every four accidents in the United States.

At present, 46 states have banned texting while driving outright, while most other states have limited legislation regarding the use of phones or mobile devices while driving. Though Texas is one of only a handful of states where texting while driving is not completely banned—it is illegal for drivers who have a learner’s permit, bus drivers and anyone in a school zone—texting while driving is no less dangerous in Texas than anywhere else, and while it may not be illegal, it should still be avoided!

Texting while driving is an especially common hazard among younger drivers, so teach your kids about the dangers of texting while driving early on, and help keep them safe when they get behind the wheel. 11 teenagers die every day as a result of crashes involving cell phones.

Fortunately, there’s an easy solution to the dangers of texting while driving: Don’t do it! When you go into a movie theater, you keep your phone out of sight and silent and it’s a good idea to do the same thing when you’re behind the wheel. Whatever text message you got will still be there when you’re at your destination, and you’ll be a lot safer checking it there.

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