The Dangers of Texting While You Drive

The Dangers of Texting While You Drive

Person using cell phone while driving.

Person using cell phone while driving. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No matter what, being behind the wheel of a car requires that the absolute utmost attention be paid to the road at all times. Driving is about a lot more than getting to point A and point B. Of course, any driver will tell you that they’re very conscious of their own safety (hopefully), and (again, hopefully) that they’re very conscious of their responsibility for the safety of other passengers, as well. But driving goes beyond this — you also have a responsibility to everyone else on the road.

It’s your responsibility to operate your vehicle not only in a way that’s safe for you and for anyone who might be in your car, but also to do so in a way that recognizes the potential danger you might pose to others when you operate your car in a way that’s irresponsible. There’s been no shortage, in the last several years, of billboards and ad campaigns geared towards impressing upon the youth of the nation how dangerous it is to text and drive. Yet this continues to be a serious issue. The most recent available numbers indicate that over a third of the nation’s drivers have either sent or received a text while driving a car.

A walloping 13% of all drivers have admitted to surfing the Internet while cruising in their car, and who knows how much this figure has increased during 2012 — rapidly-increasing technological advances have only made distracted driving easier. But why is texting so dangerous? Is it not just as dangerous as any other activity one might engage in while driving? Yes. Yes it is. And when you’re driving, you should do nothing other than drive.

Sure, it can be tough to wait until you’re at your destination (or even a stoplight if it’s really that urgent) to read that text that you just got sent or the email that just came in. In fact, there’s even more to resist now that smartphones have even gone so far as to integrate social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. These days a phone can go off for any number of reasons, and this distraction is a serious problem when you consider how many other drivers on the road can possibly be impacted by the frivolous checking of a text, email, or Facebook notification. Many of us have a tough time resisting, though — it’s so exciting to read the latest comment on that photo you posted, or better yet, see whatever new photo has been posted by one of your multitudinous friends. But think of it this way: isn’t it more exciting to wait until you’re safely stopped in your car, and then have a great big bundle of exciting news and notifications to read?

It’s not a very well-known fact, but it only really takes about three seconds for the situation outside of your car to change in a way that can be disastrous to you. That three seconds is the only window of time that you can have to see and react to something, and if you’re spending it on your phone then you’re posing a huge danger to yourself, and to many other people in the cars around you. Texting while driving is just never a good idea.

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