By now, people are probably aware that texting and driving isn’t a safe thing to do. However, it doesn’t seem to stop around 660,000 drivers from doing it every single day in the U.S.
We’re more connected than ever, but you may want to reconsider the next time you pick up your phone to read a text or email while you’re behind the wheel.
Here are 4 scary reasons why you shouldn’t text and drive and why nothing’s so important that it can’t wait until you’ve arrived at your destination.
1 in 4 Accidents
Yup…you read that right. Texting and driving causes one in four accidents in the United States. It’s six times more prevalent than drunk driving, and just glancing at a text distracts you from the road for about 5 seconds. If you’re on the highway, five seconds equals the length of a football field. If you’re in the city, you’re even closer to the vehicles in front of you, with less time to react.
Many Young Drivers Die
Most people admit that they’ve glanced at their phones while driving, but teens are four times more likely to have an accident or near-accident than a more experienced driver. If there’s someone in the car with them, they’re also at higher risk of a fatal crash. It’s another element that distracts them while they’re driving.
According to an American Automobile Association poll, young drivers know texting while driving is dangerous, but over a third do it anyway. Consequently, eleven teens die in the US every day texting while driving.
Texting Puts All Drivers At Higher Risk
Each year, many people die or they’re injured in distraction-related crashes. It’s so bad that 46 states and the District of Columbia banned texting while driving, and you can be sure the others will follow suit soon.
Statistics from 2013 show well over 3,100 people died in these crashes, and today’s numbers are likely higher. Many people are also injured from distraction-related crashes. About 425,000 accidents a year are a direct result of not watching the road.
You Could Face a Lawsuit
All states recognize that you have an obligation towards other drivers to use care when you’re driving. If you’re texting instead of paying attention to the road, you are legally liable for the damages you cause, because you aren’t looking out for the safety of others. The legal system calls this negligence.
When your negligence results in a car accident, you are financially responsible for the damages inflicted on the other driver. Damages aren’t just the money needed to fix their car; it includes expensive medical bills, as well. It might also include rental car costs and even money for emotional distress.
You may have an auto insurance policy in place, but if you only have state required minimum coverage limits, expenses can quickly exceed your policy limits. The plaintiff could seek additional money from you. Costs rise quickly for injuries. If your insurance company pays for these expenses, you can be sure your premiums will rise significantly, or they may refuse to insure you in the future.
If you’re still using your phone while you’re driving, it’s time to stop. The writing is on the wall. Break a bad habit now and drive safely instead.