You knew the answer…..didn’t you? Regardless of where you buy your Auto Insurance, rates have gone up and will continue to increase. Smartphones have made it easy for us to stay connected at all times. But that can pose serious safety risks if someone decides to check his or her text messages, emails, phone calls, or any other mobile applications while driving.
At any given time of day, approximately 660,000 drivers are attempting to use their phones while behind the wheel of an automobile.
The numbers illustrating the dangers of cell phone use while driving are downright startling:
- Over 2.5 million people in the U.S. are involved in road accidents each year. The population of the US is just 318.9 million. At this rate, the American people could be extinct in two human lifespans. This is an astounding number of traffic accidents.
- Of these, 1.6 million have a cell phone involved in them. That’s 64% of all the road accidents in the United States. Over half the road accidents in the U.S. have cell phones involved, and if this doesn’t make you realize just how potent it is, what will?
- 37,000+ people die in automobile crashes in the U.S every year
- Every year, about 421,000 people are injured in crashes that have involved a driver who was distracted in some way.
- Each year, over 330,000 accidents caused by texting while driving lead to severe injuries. This means that over 78% of all distracted drivers are distracted because they have been texting while driving.
- 1 out of 4 car accidents in the US are caused by texting while driving.
- Texting and driving is 6 times more likely to get you in an accident than drunk driving. That’s right, it is actually safer for someone to get wasted and get behind the wheel than to text and do it.
- It takes an average of three seconds after a driver’s mind is taken off the road for any road accident to occur. This is the bare minimum amount of time it takes, and it is surprisingly small. Three seconds is the time it takes to turn your ignition when starting your car.
- Reading a text message while driving successfully distracts a driver for a minimum of five seconds each time. This means that the chances of an accident occurring while reading a text is extremely high indeed.
- The average speed in the US is about 55mph. Taking five seconds to read a text in this time means that the driver travels the length of a football field without looking at the road, or being distracted. There are so many vehicles on the road now that this means there is a huge chance of something terrible happening in this distance.
- When you text while driving, the time that you spend with your eyes off the road increases by about 400%. It is already dangerous enough to be distracted by Nature while driving. So why make things 4 times as bad by texting?
- The chances of a crash because of any reason is increased by 23 times when you are texting. Even if the crash is another driver’s fault, you will probably have been able to avoid it if you had been looking at the road instead of the phone.
- When you compare this to the 2.8 times more risk that dialing a number on a phone imparts, you know that you are playing with fire.
- Every day, 11 teenagers die because they were texting while driving.
- 94% of teenagers understand the consequences of texting and driving, but 35% of them admitted that they do it anyway.
- Of all the teenagers ever involved in fatal accidents every year, 21% were using a cell phone at the time of the accident.
- Teen drivers have a 400% higher chance of being in a car crash when texting while driving than adults.
- 25% of teens respond to at least one text while driving, every single time.
- 10% of adults and 20% of teenagers have admitted that they have entire conversations over text message platforms while driving.
- 82% of American teenagers own a cell phone, and use it regularly to call and text message.
- 52% of these talk on the phone while driving, and 32% text on the road.
- When polled, 77% of adults and 55% of teenage drivers say that they can easily manage texting while driving.
- When teens text while they drive, they veer off lane 10% of their total drive time.
- A study at the University of Utah found out that the reaction time for a teen using a cell phone is the same as that of a 70 year old who isn’t using one.
- 48% of kids in their younger teenage years have been in a car while the driver was texting.
Although, we can’t mitigate all distractions while in the car, you can take a few precautions to make sure you aren’t contributing to the problem.
Mute Your Devices
As soon as you get in your car, turn the sound off on your phone and any other device that may distract you. If you don’t hear the ping of a new text, email or Instagram Like, you won’t be as tempted to find out what is happening in your digital world.
Put It Away
If you can’t easily reach it, you won’t be as tempted to use it. If you are that desperate, that’s an even bigger sign that you need a digital detox. Put it in a bag, in the back seat or the trunk and enjoy the drive.
Alert Your Contacts
Let anyone who may contact you know that you are driving and you’ll be unreachable until you arrive at your destination. If they don’t contact you, you won’t need to respond back.
There aren’t many times during the day that you can completely shut-off. Use your drive time as a time to disconnect and decompress. Take a break from your devices and take a deep breath. It will make a safer drive for everyone and you’ll feel happier and more relaxed when you arrive at your destination.