It is no surprise that texting and driving is responsible for causing a host of car accidents, injuries and deaths every year. In 2017, distracted driving claimed the lives of more than 3,100 people in the United States and injured, according to the National HIghway Safety Traffic Administration. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 1,000 people are injured and approximately nine people are killed in distracted driving accidents every day.
Texting and driving involves all three types of distractions. These include:
Manual distractions occur when drivers are forced to take their hands off the steering wheel to operate their cellular devices. When drivers take their eyes off the road to look at their cellphones it is referred to as a visual distraction. Finally, cognitive distractions require drivers to take their focus off driving and place it on something else.
The problem lies in the fact that the brain cannot fully concentrate on two complex tasks at the same time. When drivers try to drive and text, their focus switches back and forth between the two tasks. This leaves moments in time where the driver is not thinking about driving at all. It is during moments like these that serious accidents can occur. People are less likely to respond to bad weather conditions, pedestrian crosswalks, traffic lights, stop signs and other hazards in the road.
In some states, it is illegal to operate a hand-held cell phone while behind the wheel. However, legislation prohibiting texting and driving has yet to pass in Texas. It is critical that motorists avoid texting and driving to minimize the risk of becoming involved in an accident.