Distracted Behind the Wheel: Texting and Driving


According to the National Safety Council (NSC), analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data finds that 3,142 people died in distraction-affected crashes in 2020. This is an increase of about 1% from 3,119 deaths in 2019.

In fact, taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds can double your risk of crashing. Texting is one of the most common – and dangerous – forms of distracted driving, but there are others. Hands-free and car infotainment systems, originally meant to cut back on distractions, can actually cause them. Recent research says that drivers who use voice-based and touch screen features in their cars can get distracted for at least 40 seconds while they program the navigation system, for example. The increase in car accidents as a result of distracted driving is compounded by the lack of seat belt use.

Avoiding Distracted Driving: Helpful Tips

It’s tough to put your phone out of reach while driving. This is why distracted driving is such an issue. Maybe you’re expecting an important business call, or maybe your kids are at school and you want to be reachable in case they need you. Sometimes it’s as mundane as wanting to check if anyone “liked” your latest post on Facebook. With all these distractions going through your mind, and with a phone within reach, it’s far too easy to snatch it up and risk a glance or a quick text. In the blink of an eye: this is when accidents happen.

The number of mobile phones on the roads each year continues to increase. These days there are literally millions of phones of the roads. People are fighting back. Teenagers have started a pledge to end texting and driving altogether. And some senior citizen groups are reporting dropping their cell phones altogether in favor of cordless landline phones.

Keep these tips in mind to keep distraction at a minimum:

  • Keep your phone out of sight to avoid temptation, such as in the glove box, the trunk, or your pocketbook in the backseat.
  • Program your GPS before heading out. Program it into your device, set it up, press GO, then put the car into drive.
  • Pull over in a safe spot to take a call or send a text.
  • Ask your passenger for help if you have to send a message or reprogram your GPS. Let the passenger change the radio station, check the directions or send a text for you.
  • Be a responsible passenger. If you’re the passenger and see the driver texting, speak up. Remind them that the text can wait, or offer to do it for them. If you know your kids, friends or other loved ones are out driving, don’t call or send a text. If it really can’t wait, add “don’t rush to respond. Wait till you have arrived to get back to me.” The sense of urgency, especially for teens who feel the need to respond to parents or risk getting into trouble, can prove deadly.

Contact The Law Office of Brian Brunson

If you have been the victim of a car crash involving a distracted driver, know your rights. Contact the Law Office of Brian Brunson today for a free consultation at 214-730-8961.

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