How Dangerous Is Texting And Driving?

Texting while driving, by Flickr user ericathompson

Texting while driving, by Flickr user ericathompson

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The shameful thing about using cellphones while driving is Generation Y is most guilty for it. We grew up with cellphones around us constantly, and some of us started texting in High School.

And now some of us are either so stupid, or addicted, that they have to send a text message while they are behind the wheel. Who on Earth thinks that they can do that while operating a motor vehicle safely? I'm telling you, it is impossible. I can't even make a cell phone call without hitting a tree, let alone text. Texting while driving, and thinking that you can do it and not eventually have an accident, is like saying you're fine to drive after six beers.

In fact, the guys over at Car and Driver proved this. They did a loosely scientific test with some interns involving cellphones and alcohol. What they did is have two interns do a series of reaction time tests at 35 and 75 mph. One while reading a text, one while writing a text and one while driving at the legal blood alcohol content limit.

In some cases, their testers reaction times and braking distance were worse when simply reading a text than it was when driving impaired. Check out their average result charts:

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The reason why is simple. Texting brings your focus off of the road, and into the cabin of the car. This limits your periphery and your ability to look way far ahead of the vehicle. Plus, it takes up your hands.

I hate to stand on a soapbox, but I want to say something to the college kids. Cut it out. Stop using your cellphone constantly while you are driving. You are endangering everyone you cut off, tailgate or almost hit. What if you cause an accident and kill someone because you were too busy sending a text about the killer party you're going to tonight. Don't you realize that holding a phone up to your ear takes too much of your focus off the road for you to ever in your life be considered a good driver? If you constantly are on your phone while you are driving, you are not just a bad driver, you are a terrible driver. An awful driver. An endangerment to everyone else on the road. If you are texting, you shouldn't be on the road.So, what kinds of things can you do? First, you can start putting your phone on silent mode while you are driving, and then take it off when you reach your destination. Then you don't have to feel bad about purposely ignoring someone's call. You can tell someone you are having a text based conversation with that you are about to get in the car and drive. Then they know you won't be able to respond for a little bit of time. Leave the phone at home for short trips when you aren't expecting an important call. Start driving a car with a manual transmission so you have to focus more on the job of driving. An automatic leaves your hands idle and free, and that is when the cellphone comes out. Having to change gear gives you more to do while driving, and increases your attention and involvement in your trip. Get a car that is enjoyable to drive, so that anything that tries to take you away from the experience is a nuisance, instead of a relief from boredom. 

Or, stop having friends, because you killed them all in an accident you caused because you were texting while driving them all around. Accidents are serious things, and they can be avoided easily. Eliminating cellphone use while driving is one highly effective way to reduce your risk of having an accident, and makes the roads safer for everyone.[Car and Driver]

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