Texting While Driving – A Dangerous Activity

While driving down the road, you might notice  that it isn’t just the kids that are texting.  The following article outlines the effects of texting on our reaction time.

Teresa Taylor

Someone you know just sent you a text message. Maybe your boss wants the latest numbers, or a friend wants to set up a place to meet after work. Traffic is flowing smoothly, and you know it would take less than a second to type a response – so you do. But while you are focused on your cell phone, the car in front of you suddenly stops and you crash into them. Your life is now changed forever.

Let’s face it; we can’t bear to be out of contact with friends, family, or those at work. Therefore, each of us is taking part in an incredibly distracting practice when we text and drive diverting at least one hand, and both eyes, from the road. So, we pose the question, have you ever sent or read a text message while driving? If you have, you’re not alone. Last year more than one trillion texts were sent and that number is expected to increase.

Our lawmakers are taking action with the enactment of recent legislation. By law if you’re a Federal employee you cannot text while operating a government vehicle. Employers are asking their HR departments to ‘update’ their

employee handbooks to include specific language that bans employees from using company and personal cell phones and texting devices while driving company vehicles. Furthermore, several states recently have passed laws banning you from texting while driving any vehicle.

Things to consider when you feel that urge to text while you’re driving:

• You are 23 times more likely to get into a car accident if you text while driving.

• Your reaction times are slowed by 35% when you’re writing or reading text messages.

• For every 6 seconds of drive time, when you’re sending or receiving a text message you spend 4.6 of those seconds with your eyes off the road.

• Your steering control is worsened by 91% while texting while driving.

• When you are texting, it is harder for you to maintain a safe distance from other cars, and you drift in and out of your lane more often than those who have a blood alcohol level of 0.10.

• Texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent with your eyes off the road.

Text messaging while driving can kill. It’s that simple. Numerous studies show that texting and reading texts are like being drunk while driving, cutting down your reaction times and your overall ability to drive. While it may be hard to ignore the temptation to text and drive, doing so is extremely hazardous and the result can be life changing.

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