Imagine, you are driving to work and you notice that the car in front of you is driving out of the lane. They keep changing their speed or making sudden choices. You look more closely and you realize that they are texting while driving. It is lucky that you are paying attention because another person might not have been.
Despite this common scenario that most all drivers have encountered before, 86% of people say that would need a lot of convincing to actually think that texting while driving is dangerous. According to Risk Analysis, people who do text and drive are 6 times more likely to be involved in an accident, but at the same time, despite the evidence that this behavior is dangerous, the fear of missing out and separation anxiety stop people from putting down their phone behind the wheel.
The report also found that cell phones have been involved in 1/4 of all car accidents. But what the cell phone is being used for changes the risk level. For example, talking on your cell phone increases the risk of an accident by 2.2 times, but texting increases the risk by 6.1 times. Something else that is important to note is that the longer the person had their license, the higher the likelihood they don’t use their phone while driving.
So how do we convince people that distracted driving is a serious issue? The study showed that high traffic conditions and law enforcement were effective deterrents. Right now in Florida, texting while driving is still only a secondary offense. If it was a primary offense, you could get pulled over solely for texting.
Encourage those around you and those you drive with to not use their phone while they are driving. If you are the passenger, you be the navigation and the DJ, don’t let the driver use their phone.