Texting & driving. We all do it, right? Even if just occasionally.
I always KNEW it was dangerous, but the point didn’t home until someone sent me the video below on Whatsapp recently.
Maybe it's because we recently lost a family member in a car accident too...So when I viewed this video -- and the devastation it brought to an entire family -- in a matter of seconds.... Yeh, I realised the dangers are very. very real.
Now you may be saying to yourself, "I'm more experienced than some newbie teenage driver. I can handle it,"
Think again! At 1:47 into the first video, watch how the truck driver simply picks up his phone to change a music track, glances at it for what looks like 3 seconds, before looking up and to his horror, realising he's going to hit into a car that had suddenly stopped.
Was he just too slow to react? I don't think so. When you 'text' while driving, your focus moves away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. Add to that mix - driving at a safe speed of 100 km/h, that's enough time to traverse the length of a football field. So there's a high possibility that you'll miss something that was NOT in sight when you took your eyes off the road.
Driving is already an activity with inherent dangers to worry about. Adding the distraction of the mobile phone makes the situation infinitely more hazardous. It's time we all did something about it. So today, I'm committing to NEVER text & drive. I ask you to do the same.
Here are a few stats on the dangers of driving under the influence of text or mobile distraction:
- A recent Virginia Tech Transportation Institute study found that manual text messaging elevated the risk of a crash or near crash to more than 23 times higher than "non distracted" driving.
- The VTTI found in a study that covered a combined 6 million miles of driving that texting while driving is by far the most risky cellphone activity in a car.
- The risk for a texting driver to cause a crash or near-crash event (in heavy vehicles or trucks) was found to be 23.2 times as high as non-distracted driving, while dialling was found to be 5.9 times as high, talking and listening 1.0 times as high, and reaching for or using any electronics device was estimated to be 6.7 times as high.
- This study found that text messaging while driving is significantly more distracting than talking or listening on a cell phone or reaching for an object.
- The study also found that "texting took a driver's focus away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds--enough time to travel the length of a football field at 55 mph." (88 km/h)
- The reaction times of texting driver deteriorated by 35 per cent, much worse than those who drank alcohol at the legal limit, who were 12 per cent slower, or those who had taken cannabis, who were 21 per cent slower.
Can you believe that last point?! Texting while driving reduces your reaction time EVEN more than taking cannabis? Wow. It's time society frowned on the texting (while driving) epidemic just as much as being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
I have two videos on the topic. They're not terribly long -- about 4 minutes each. But please watch them through to the end. And if you have young drivers (or you are a young driver), make sure you watch the second video. It's about a young attractive teen, who describes what a huge part the mobile phone played in her life. And it was the same mobile that led to her horrific accident -- that altered her life forever.
Truck driver using mobile phone kills family in UK
Liz Marks Texting & Driving Story