Highway safety boards and automobile insurance companies are increasingly concerned about the consequences of texting while driving. Nearly 90% of car accidents involve human error and thousands are killed in distracted driving-related car accidents. Many of these cases were caused by distracted driving, with many drivers reading or sending texts while driving.
Many states now prohibit texting while driving. Drivers in these states can be charged with this offense. Texting is still prohibited in some states that haven’t banned it completely. Texting can lead to traffic-related deaths.
Statistics on texting while driving
According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, distracted driving was responsible for 2,841 fatalities in 2018. This is almost 8% of all fatal crashes in cars that year.
Studies show that it takes approximately five seconds to read a message in text. This means someone could drive the length a football field, while reading a text and driving at 55 mph. These five seconds are crucial because so many things can happen in a matter of seconds. It is not surprising that 2018 research found that texting while driving doubled your chances of being in an accident.
Teenagers are the most likely to be killed or injured by distracted driving. Other occupants, such as pedestrians and cyclists, are also at risk.
Insurance rates affected by texting and driving
Your insurance company will use many factors to determine the cost of your car insurance. These factors include your credit score and driving record, as well as your location, driving record, income, commute time, and vehicle ownership.
More insurance companies are now using satellite technology to track policyholders’ mobile phone usage. Allstate uses Arity to monitor their drivers’ cell phone usage while driving. Arity had tracked 160 million trips and concluded that drivers who used their cell phones while driving were more likely to be involved in accidents or receive tickets.
Insurance rates can rise due to the behavior of other drivers and their cell phone habits. They can also increase your risk of being in an accident with another driver. Your state and insurance company will play a role in how much your rates rise.
Do laws make texting issues worse?
Anti-texting laws could be contributing to the problem, there is reason for concern. Drive.Safely.Net and other websites advocate for the removal of existing texting laws and driving laws. They claim they only fuel the flames. According to the website, drivers who wish to text now have to hold their phones below the steering wheel or in the laps of their passengers. This forces them to look off the road.
Website claims that current laws make matters worse because technology companies resist creating new products that allow voice-to-text, so drivers can focus on the road. Because of the potential liability for any accidents caused by their technology, they hesitate to do so.
Other research suggests that cell phone bans at the state level have a positive effect. According to the American Journal of Public Health, research has shown that car accidents that resulted in hospitalizations have fallen by approximately 7% in states where strict anti-texting laws were implemented between 2003 and 2010.
Questions frequently asked
Why is texting while driving so dangerous?
Texting distracts drivers from the road, and forces them to focus on something else for a brief moment. Drivers who are constantly texting while driving can find it distracting.
What are the dangers associated with using a mobile phone while driving?
The driver cannot use a cell phone while driving. This means that they can only use one hand to steer the car. Talking on a cell-phone while driving can make it difficult to keep your eyes on your road but distract you from your main focus.
Is it illegal to text and drive?
Texting while driving and driving is against the law in most states. Those that don’t ban it have some restrictions. Some cities have their own rules. You should check the laws in your area. However, it doesn’t matter if they are legal, you shouldn’t text and drive.