Texting and driving is becoming more prevalent in our society. Virtually everyone has a smartphone nowadays, and many people want to be connected to it 24/7—even while driving. However, driving and texting is a dangerous activity that leads to many car accidents every year. Many cause serious injuries and even death. As a result, many states have enacted laws prohibiting drivers from using cell phones.
Texting and Driving Statistics
In 2015, texting and driving caused 391,000 injuries and 3,477 deaths across the country. The average text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for five seconds. When a car is traveling at 55 mph, this distance is equivalent to the length of a football field.
Those who text while behind the wheel have a 23 percent increased chance of getting into a crash. This is equivalent to having four alcoholic drinks. In fact, distracted driving has been compared to drunk driving because the impairments are similar. However, drunk driving is actually declining, while texting and driving is on the rise.
Why We Can’t Multitask Behind the Wheel
Think you’re a great driver and a great texter? Both may be true, but according to science, it’s not possible for you to do both at once. In fact, only 2.5 percent of those tested can actually multitask effectively.
If you think you can text and drive at the same time, you can’t because both are visual tasks. Trying to focus on two visual tasks is much harder than focusing on a visual and auditory task. When you have two visual tasks, your gaze moves around much more, so you spend less time on either task.
Plus, when you text and drive, you are predicting that something won’t be on the road for the few seconds that you look down at your cell phone. When you attempt to multitask, all you do is toggle between two activities. This causes something to suffer due to cognitive load. This may mean you are slower to react to cars on the roadway, leading to accidents.
Preventing Texting and Driving
There are apps and phone features that help curb the urge to text while behind the wheel. For example, AT&T offers an app called DriveMode which automatically sends replies to texts letting people know that you are driving. While your phone is in DriveMode, all emails, texts and calls are silenced and you won’t be able to read or type anything while driving.
DriveSafe.ly does not block your incoming texts, calls or emails, but it does read them out loud for your so you don’t have to grab for your phone. It also uses your voice to respond to them so you don’t even have to lift a finger.
Get Legal Help from a Brooklyn Personal Injury Lawyer
Texting and driving accidents can lead to serious injuries and even death. In some cases, the person who actually sends a text that causes a car accident can be held liable if he or she knew the recipient was driving, but continued to distract the person anyway.
If you or a loved one was involved in such a crash, seek legal help right away to understand what laws apply in your situation. Call The Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum to determine your rights to compensation. Contact our Brooklyn office at (718) 237-5586 to schedule a consultation.