Texting & Driving Accidents Are On The Rise: The Numbers & The Solutions
By Space Coast Daily // June 14, 2021
The fact that texting and driving accidents are on the rise proves that the human brain is not designed for multitasking. It also proves that humans can be easily lulled into a false feeling of safety and believe they can do a lot more than they actually can.
According to specialists, constantly switching from one task to another (aka multitasking) is not an efficient way to do two things at once. In fact, you’re doing two things slower and paying less attention than if you would just do them separately. Moreover, with an activity that requires active participation and constant focus (like driving), you lose 50% of what happens around you even by driving and speaking on the phone using a hands-free device. Once you take your eyes off the road to check the screen of your phone, the chances of an accident increase rapidly.
According to the United States Department of Transportation, it takes about 5 seconds to read a text. During those 5 seconds, your vehicle will cover a distance equal to half a football field (if you’re driving according to the speed limit) and your eyes won’t be on the road, ready to send the signal if something shows up! As a result of these 5 seconds and young people’s compulsion to read and immediately reply to a text, over 3,100 lives have been lost in 2019 to car accidents.
Smartphones, Voice Commands, & Driving
Most smartphone users are rarely more than 25ft away from their devices. Moreover, if their smartphone is not within reach, there are users who get anxious as they worry they’ll miss a message, a phone call, or a notification.
This is a direct consequence of the addictive combination of mobile devices, social media, and mobile gaming. But what’s even more worrisome, is that new studies show smartphones can be a hindrance to work productivity, having a healthy life, and forming social bonds with other human beings.
Returning to today’s topic, according to Autojusticeattorney.com, a law firm based in Orlando that specializes in car accidents, the number of accidents caused by distracted drivers is higher than the cases of driving under influence. Moreover, there are no signs of things getting better anytime soon.
What’s worse, official national stats support their findings! The trend of distracted driving due to mobile devices is on the rise.
What Is There to Do?
Sadly, while we do have laws against texting and driving, there are no laws against using hands-free devices or communicating with a device via voice commands. Moreover, the punishment for texting and driving is not harsh enough to scare people from doing it.
Therefore, one of the most efficient solutions would be strict laws that ask drivers to put their phone on mute and away from sight and reach while driving. Additionally, in-car voice commands should be banned while driving, because this activity is also distracting.
However, the laws aren’t that easy to change and we all know the authorities can’t keep up with the fast-paced world of technology. Therefore, we all need to take responsibility and raise awareness by speaking up whenever we see or hear about someone using their phone while driving.
And, if you’re ever involved in a car crash, you should first check and see if the other driver wasn’t distracted by using their phone. You should hire a car accident lawyer regardless of the situation, but if you can prove the other driver was using their phone, the case becomes clear and it’s easier to solve.