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How does texting and driving affect drivers?

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

We all know that texting and driving is risky, but for whatever reason, people keep doing it. When you text, your eyes are on the phone, not the road, and we all know this is dangerous.

An example of just how bad

Disturbingly, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in just five seconds, a car traveling 55 mph can travel the distance of a football field. Imagine driving this distance with your eyes closed. Well, that is very much like what you are doing when you only take a few seconds to look down. How many cars do you pass in 100 yards on the road any day?

These five seconds are not even the whole picture. When you take your eyes off the road, on average, it takes your eyes another 27 seconds to reorient to driving and cleanse the mental distraction, according to AAA. This is called the hangover effect.

Why is texting so dangerous?

Texting and driving does not just blind you; it distracts drivers manually, cognitively and visually. This is because, when you are texting, you are taking your eyes of the road, taking a hand off the steering wheel, and your mind switches from driving to whatever is on your phone. Even if somehow you could keep one eye on the road, the cognitive and visual distraction are dangerous by themselves.

Is it really that dangerous?

Yes. According to the NHTSA, distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents in the United States. AAA recently did a survey in which 96% of respondents acknowledged that texting or emailing while driving is dangerous, but nearly half still admitted to doing it.

Studies have even compared texting and driving to drinking. They found that a driver’s reaction time is the same as drinking four beers in an hour. But, what if someone else makes this potentially negligent choice?

What if a distracted driver hits me?

If you are involved in a distracted driver car accident in the Washington, D.C., area, you have options. Like any other car accident, you can recover for your damages and pain and suffering through a personal injury lawsuit. However, if the driver was drunk or actively distracted, then you may be able to recover additional, punitive damages to make you whole and aid in your future recovery.