Distracted driving is an epidemic. According to AAA, up to 50 percent of all accidents are caused by distracted driving. This can be anything that takes your attention away from the road–eating, drinking, grooming, talking, adjusting the radio or GPS, or reaching for the lipstick that fell on the floor. All of these can cause serious accidents, but texting (or surfing the web) while driving tops them all. That’s because it requires the driver’s full visual, mental, and manual attention. If you don’t want to find yourself looking at a Redding attorney who’s taking you to court, it’s important to be aware of a few life-altering facts. To protect yourself from distracted drivers, visit BlackBoxMyCar.com to find some great dashcams.
It Only Takes 5 Seconds
How often have you seen a weaving car, only to realize that the driver was looking down at a phone as you gingerly drove by? Texting takes your full attention for at least five seconds. If you’re driving at 55 miles per hour, that’s the equivalent of driving blind across a football field. It only takes those few seconds for a car to cross the center line, veer off the road into a body of water (yes, that’s actually happened), swipe a pedestrian (that’s happened too), or run a red light. Texting is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
It Causes Over 1 Million Crashes Each Year
Estimates say that anywhere from 1.3 million to 1.6 million of traffic accidents every year are caused by cell phone use. Of these accidents, there were 500,000 injuries and 6,000 deaths. Unfortunately, many of those accidents are caused by people under the age of 20. Even if you only cause a minor accident you will most likely have to go on a refresher driving course, somewhere like florida traffic school, to be reminded of the rules of the road and that they are in place to protect your and others’ safety. The University of Utah says that a teen who is using a cell phone has a reaction time of a 70-year-old without a cell phone. Adults, however, are not exempt. Many teens report that they saw their parents texting while driving.
It Can Lead to a Lawsuit or Criminal Charges
If it’s not alarming enough that texting while driving causes thousands of injuries and deaths, keep in mind that there can be legal and criminal repercussions as well. Every personal injury lawyer can attest to the reality that traffic accidents are one of the most common reasons for personal injury lawsuits. One text at the wheel could end up costing thousands or even millions of dollars. Worse, it can lead to jail. One woman is facing up to 26 years of prison for two felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and three felony counts of reckless driving. And she’s not the only one. Next time you decide to step near the throttle, you may want to know what constitutes reckless driving and how it will be treated in the eyes of the lawmakers.
As they say, “No text is worth a life.” It’s not worth going to jail for either. Take it from this Redding attorney–when you’re driving, keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. Your mother will breathe easier too.