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Texting While Driving Is as Worse as Drinking and Driving

Updated on August 1, 2012
Does your state prohibit texting while you drive?
Does your state prohibit texting while you drive? | Source

You may think differently but texting while driving is dangerous!

Improper use of cellphones can kill you! OK, now that I have your attention, allow me to rephrase this statement a bit. Improper use of cellphones can really kill you. I’m not talking about long term complications due to whatever radio waves is emitted. Instead, I’m talking about texting while driving. Although short message service (SMS) of phone companies has significantly made communication easier; mixing it with driving is detrimental to your existence.

Here are some statistics that might change your outlook on texting while you are driving:

  • At 55 MPH, just looking at your phone for 5 seconds you've already travelled 300 yards – that the length of a football field.
  • 18% of fatalities due to distracted driving can be attributed to drivers texting while behind the wheel
  • Texting while one is driving can delay one’s reaction as much as having a blood alcohol at legal limit
  • Many young drivers know it’s unsafe to text and drive. But what’s startling is that 30% still do it
  • Almost 40% of teen drivers have been involved in near crashes because of SMS while driving.
  • According to the study by Virginia Tech Driving Institute, drivers are 23% more likely to get into an accident when they text and drive.
  • In 2011, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that as much as 1.6 million accidents a year are related to the use of cell phones.
  • As much as 500,000 injuries and 6,000 deaths can be attributed to cellphone use while driving

Resist the urge to text when you're behind the wheel

Texting impairs the reaction time of drivers – that’s serious. Remember that you’re not the only on the road. There are pedestrians, other motorists and from time to time you may encounter livestock crossing (yes in some countries this is happens a lot). Anytime you fail to focus on the road and on driving, you increase your risk for accidents. So what do you do?

  • Switch off your phone when driving
  • Have someone else read and reply text messages for you
  • Put your phone in an inaccessible place so you don’t get tempted to reach for it (nope, the glove compartment is not a good place)
  • Get a text to speech software application for your phone. Do get the voice activated ones to prevent you from fumbling with your phone while driving.

What to do

Currently, 35 out of 50 states in the US have banned texting while driving. But this is just one measure to reduce the incidences of accidents and near misses. If you are a parent, here are some reminders and suggestions for you to consider:

  • Install software apps for the phone that disable text messaging or even switching the phone off while driving. There are free apps for these. In fact some even have notifications when your teen tries to uninstall or disable this application.
  • Constant reminders may easily turn into nagging, but hey, it is better that they know
  • Don’t call or text your child to make sure they are not texting while driving if you know they are behind the wheel. That’s just counter-productive.
  • Be an example. 48% of teen drivers have seen their parents use the phone while driving.

Technology is here to make our lives easier and more convenient. But this does not mean we can be careless with how we use these gadgets and devices. Driving requires attention and focus. Although many drivers have made this skill second nature, it is by no means a reason to be overconfident. Putting safety first is always a prudent action.

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    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there driving-school,

      I'm glad that you agree. :)

    • profile image

      Sasa 4 years ago from London

      completely true

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello That Grrl,

      Yuu're one of the few people who do not like cellphones.

      Thank you for the comments and the grammar lesson. But I'll still use the same title for now.

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 4 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      I wrote about cell phone addiction and texting while driving too. I decided not to get a mobile phone. I didn't want the extra expense and I already hate answering the phone so it really made no sense to take it with me everywhere I go.

      Your title is a bit wrong for English grammar. "Texting While Driving is Worse Than Drinking and Driving" would be better.

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      I appreciate that SpeakUpStandOut.

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi Reine,

      Well, regardless of how consistent cops are, drivers must take the initiative to do what is right.

    • profile image

      Reine 4 years ago

      Got a ticket for texting and driving. But not all cops are consistent in implementing this.

    • SpeakUpStandOut profile image

      Criss 4 years ago from Southern California

      Absolutely! :)

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi SpeakUpStandOut,

      I know that many understand how grave this is. But in spite of that many still do it anyway. I just hope they don't hurt themselves or anyone else because of this irresponsible act. Do help me spread the word about horrors of texting and driving. See you around.

    • SpeakUpStandOut profile image

      Criss 4 years ago from Southern California

      I agree with you. Texting and driving is dangerous. It is not only dangerous for the person texting, but also for everyone around them on the road. I do not text when I drive; I have a special ringtone for important people, and if I hear their ringtone, I will pull over before accessing my phone. Texting and driving is not safe for anyone and it should not be done under any circumstances. This is a very important and informative article.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Sorry truck cab.

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there F. Cabral,

      True, seconds of distracted driving can be detrimental to you and to others.

    • profile image

      F. Cabral 4 years ago

      Nice stats. Just a few seconds of not paying attention can cause a lot of trouble.

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      That's a good decision Ryan. You're not just protecting yourself but protecting others as well.

    • profile image

      Ryan 4 years ago

      OK I will stop texting while driving!

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there Bethaleg, My driving habits changed when I has y baby. I drive more carefully now and I don't text and drive. I appreciate your inputs and I'm sure many share the same views.

    • Bethaleg profile image

      Bethaleg 5 years ago from Minnesota

      I have family members who still text and drive even though we all know how dangerous it is, and it scares me. I admit...I used to do it...when I was single. Now, with my precious cargo almost always with me (my kids) I don't dare do something like that. How would it feel if they were injured or killed because I couldn't wait to text someone? I never want to know!!!

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello moonlake,

      many really think they are indestructible. But what's really irking is that they can affect other people as well. I see a lot of public transport drivers in the Philippines texting while driving. It's about time we actually do something about this nasty habit. I wrote this to help spread the word that it is not saf to text and drive. I hope you can share in this task. Thanks for the vote up.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      Just watching the ad on tv that shows a girl and the last word she texted to her sister before she had car accident because of the texting and passed away. Teens will never listen they think it will never happen to them. We were driving behind a semi-tanker the other day and it was all over the road. When we passed it my friend looked in the cap and said it looked like he might be texting. A grown man and he's driving a semi-tanker! Voted up on your hub.

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there kashmir56,

      NO matter how much we try to educate people, we still find a few who are just not listening. I just hope they don't get into trouble. I appreciate yhe vote up. Please do help me share this in formation with others. recently a bus driver in the Philippines got into an accident because of this irresponsible act. He almost killed all his passengers.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi jpcmc great well written hub,i agree with everything you wrote in this hub. People should be smarter and not text while driving, but many still are not .

      Vote up and more !!!

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello Erik,

      Every bit of strategy to minimize accidents is very important. Of course responsibly using cellphones ultimately falls on the shoulders of the user. Parents should lso take charge when they find their kids in this situation.

    • profile image

      Erik Wood 5 years ago

      The CDC just reported that 60% of older teens routinely Text and Drive. I think its starting to become clear that legislation has value in raising public awareness in forums like this one but it will be difficult to solely legislate our way out of this issue. I also read that over 3/4 of teens text daily - many text more than 4000 times a month. New college students no longer have email addresses! They use texting and Facebook - even with their professors. Tweens (ages 9 -12) send texts to each other from their bikes. This text and drive issue is in its infancy and its not going away.

      I decided to do something about distracted driving after my three year old daughter was nearly run down right in front of me by a texting driver. Instead of a shackle that locks down phones and alienates the user, I built a texting asset called OTTER that is a simple and intuitive GPS based, texting auto reply app for smartphones. While driving, OTTER silences those distracting call ringtones and chimes unless a bluetooth is enabled. The texting auto reply allows anyone to schedule a ‘texting blackout period’ in any situation like a meeting or a lecture without feeling disconnected. This software is a social messaging tool for the end user that also empowers this same individual to be a sustainably safer driver.

      Erik Wood, owner

      OTTER app

      do one thing well... be great.

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi M,

      In the Philippines there are public utility drivers who text while driving. In one instance a bus almost fell from a bridge because of this.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      It's true, textign while driving is much worse. Many people already died because if the misuse of cellphones while driving. hope people will soon learn how to be safe..