April serves as Distracted Driver Awareness Month across the United States. When it comes to texting and driving, or even just talking on the phone while driving, we are all at least a little guilty. It is easy to convince yourself that you are a good enough driver to be able to do both things at once. This, however, is dangerous thinking.
In 2011, at least 23% of auto collisions involved cellphones. That is 1.3 million crashes. According to one study, looking down at your phone to send a text while driving occupies a minimum of 5 seconds of your time. This means that if you’re traveling 55 mph, you’ve driven the length of a football field without looking at the road. In the moment, the distance doesn’t seem that significant. But in reality, it is a distance that could change your life and lives of those around you.
In many ways, texting while driving has also become a double standard – a trend that needs to be broken. If you think about it, you are likely much more comfortable texting behind the wheel with other passengers than you would be if another driver was texting while you were a passenger. Additionally, 77% of teen adults stated that they are confident they could text and drive safely. However, when asked if being able to text and drive safely should be part of completing a driver’s test, the reactions were quite different. Comments included “If this becomes law, I’ll stop driving,” “It’s impossible,” and the most haunting, “People will die.”
While auto insurance is there to protect you in the event of an accident such as this, we would much rather see you put down the phone for a few minutes in order to save yourself and those around you.