From the time we obtain our licenses, we are taught to avoid driving while drunk at all costs. However, there is one activity you probably do every day in your car that is far more dangerous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a recent study and found that texting and driving is six times more dangerous than drunk driving. Texting has replaced drunk driving as the number one cause of car accidents among teenagers.
Did you know?
- A quarter of teenagers admit to responding to a text message at least once every time they drive.
What makes texting and driving more dangerous than drunk driving?
- You are 23 times more likely to become involved in a crash while texting and driving.
- According to a 2009 study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, a driver takes their eyes off the road for an average of 4-6 seconds while texting. This short amount of time is to travel the length of an entire football field.
- Driving drunk obviously impairs your senses and slows your reaction time, but will usually retain some eye contact with the road. Texting while driving is so dangerous because you lose vital eye contact with the road ahead.
While driving, teenagers like to check in with their friends in order to let them know that they’ll arrive to their destination soon. Thinking they’re sending a harmless text, they end up putting themselves at more risk than if they drove while intoxicated. A decent mother would never let her child drive while under the influence. However, so many are unaware of the extreme dangers of texting and driving.
How to protect your teens from the dangers of texting and driving
- Have an earnest talk with your teenager about how dangerous texting and driving is. Ensure them that you care for their safety immensely.
- Teach your teen to be a defensive driver and to look out for those engaging in distracted or erratic driving.
At Laporte, Mulligan & Werner-Watkins, we desire to spread awareness regarding the danger of texting while driving. Creating an informed community is the first step to bringing about any significant change. Substantial change begins by keeping both yourself and your teens informed about the dangers of texting and driving. Find out more ways to improve your community by following our blogs.