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Why texting while driving is so dangerous

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | Car Accidents

New York has laws against texting while driving to protect road users. Unfortunately, many motorists persist in engaging in this activity, thinking they are safe enough to avoid getting into an accident. This is a misconception; texting is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving.

Dangers of texting and driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 3,500 people are killed by distracted drivers annually. All forms of distracted driving are dangerous, but texting is considered the riskiest activity of all. In reality, even glancing away from the road for 5 seconds can cause a deadly crash. If you’re driving 55 miles per hour while using a handheld cell phone, it’s the equivalent of traveling the length of a football field. Texting while driving takes your attention off the road, which can cause severe car accidents and leave victims catastrophically injured or killed.

Types of distracted driving

Distracted driving can take on many forms, but not all involve all three types of distractions. For example, eating requires you to move at least one hand off the steering wheel, but you may be able to continue watching the road while doing it. Likewise, conversing with a passenger may cause your mind to wander, but you could still control your steering and keep your eyes on the road.

Unlike many other forms of distracted driving, texting requires all three forms of distraction: visual, manual and cognitive. Even if you’re only reading a message, you must have your phone in your hand, your eyes on the screen and your focus on reading the text.

You can’t control what other drivers do, but you can avoid causing an accident triggered by texting and driving. The best way to do that is to put your phone on do not disturb mode.