All of us have seen the videos that show the horrific dangers of texting while driving and we have seen numerous billboards that urge us not to use our mobile phones on the road, but many people still continue to do it, thinking that they have everything under control and that nothing will ever happen to them.
We’ve all been there – heard the irresistible siren call of our cell phone and immediately had our attention pulled towards answering the call or viewing the text message. We were aware of the risk, but we still made the decision to take one hand off the wheel, because what could happen in a second or two?
The truth is that a single moment is enough to distract you and cause an auto accident. The moment you take your eyes off the road, you are taking a major risk of crashing your car and endangering not only your own life, but also the lives of other people. So, the next time you think about using your phone behind the wheel, remember the following reasons not to.
You Are More Likely to Crash
This one is pretty obvious, but did you know that you are 23 times more likely to crash if you text and drive? According to the National Safety Council, 1.6 million car crashes due to texting while driving happen each year. If you don’t want to crash your car and get injured or even killed, don’t text and drive.
You Put Safety of Others at Risk
Not only does texting and driving put your own life at risk, but it also gravely endangers the lives of other people around you. As a driver, you are responsible not only for the passengers in your car, but also for other motorists on the road, not to mention pedestrians who often end up hurt or killed because of the negligence of drivers.
Speaking of pedestrians, you know how kids can pop up seemingly out of nowhere and get on the road? Well, you are much less likely to notice them while looking at the phone in your lap.
Your Reaction Time Is Considerably Slower
Using your mobile phone while driving dramatically slows down your reaction time. A study by the Transport Research Laboratory found that texting while driving delays reaction times by 37%, while drinking to the legal limit delays reaction times by 13%.
Therefore, texting while driving is much worse than driving under the influence, as you are definitely not as sharp as you may think when you are behind the wheel with your cellular device.
Especially during these winters in the Northeast and most of New York, icy conditions can further complicate your ability to stop your vehicle. This additional reaction time would be necessary during inclement weather to increase your chances of successfully stopping your car before it can crash into another vehicle or object on the roadway.
It Is Very Easy to Pull Over
If you are expecting an important call or text message and you feel like you really need to answer your phone, the best decision you can make is to simply pull over. If you are on a bridge or a narrow road with no driveways in sights, keep driving until you find a safe location to park your vehicle.
It’s as simple as that. No text message or call could ever be more important than your life, and it’s much more dangerous to take your eyes off the road, even just for a moment. The world will not end if you don’t immediately answer your phone, but your or someone else’s life may.
It May Be Illegal
Besides the previously discussed dangers of texting and driving, the fact that it may be illegal, depending on the law in your state, is yet another reason to consider when you hear that familiar sound or buzz and think about answering it. If you’re caught, you may pay a fine but, if you cause an auto accident, you may even end up in jail.
Your Insurance Rate May Spike
If distracted driving due to texting causes an auto accident and you are issued a citation, your insurance company will significantly increase your rate, so you will start paying much higher premiums.
The bottom line is that texting while driving can be seriously dangerous, so simply don’t do it. It takes a moment to take a look at your phone, but that moment is enough to take your own or someone else’s life. However, if you do find yourself in a situation where your or someone else’s reckless driving has caused an accident, make sure you contact an auto attorney in NYC, as they can help you with your insurance claim, as well as help you protect your rights.