More and more people are using their cell phones in their vehicles. At the same time, more and more people are dying in distracted driving deaths each year. Here are ten reasons why you should put down your phone when you’re behind the wheel.
The Statistics are Frightening
When you leave the house for work tomorrow, or to go to the grocery store, you may encounter someone texting and driving. At any given moment during the day, more than 660,000 people are holding their cell phones while driving. About 100,000 of them are texting.
Texting and Driving is Deadly
All of this distracted driving is incredibly dangerous. Every day, about nine people die in car crashes that involved distracted driving. In 2012, 3,328 people died and 421,000 people were injured.
Teens are Most Affected
Teenagers are just learning to handle a vehicle, and they’re also the ones most likely to send texts while driving. 25% of teenagers respond to texts once or more while they’re driving. If you have a teenager, they should be made aware of the dangers. Having these reckless kids on the road is another reason why you should be paying attention, and not buried behind your own screen.
It’s More Distracting Then You Might Think
Sending a quick “ok” to someone may not seem like a big deal, but it’s actually incredibly distracting. Texting or reading emails requires you to completely take your eyes off of the road, remove at least one hand from the wheel, and distract your brain from the task of driving to the task of typing or reading. A study by Car and Driver magazine showed that this type of behavior can delay your reaction time as much as if you’ve been consuming alcohol.
It Could Cost You Money
Most states have passed legislation making texting and driving illegal. If you get pulled over for distracted driving, you could face hundreds of dollars in fines and a very annoyed police officer. If your insurance company fines out about your ticket, you could also face a massive insurance hike. If you are involved in accident where you are to blame, and you’re cited for texting and driving, your insurance company may increase your rates dramatically or even drop you from coverage altogether.
There are Plenty of Other Options
It only takes a minute to pull over, park your car, and answer a text message. You can also buy hands-free technology that will allow you to communicate while on the road, while also keeping your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.