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Texting and driving: Is it really that dangerous?

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2019 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

You hear people tell you that texting and driving is dangerous. Maybe you see commercials and public service announcements. If you’re a teenage driver, maybe they tell you during driver’s training. Maybe parents or friends bring it up. If you’re a married adult, maybe your spouse tells you never to text behind the wheel.

You know that people believe it’s dangerous, yet you can’t help but question their perspective. After all, you have texted in the car for years. You started in college, before you even had a smartphone. You had to use T9 texting. Now, with your current smartphone, it’s easier than ever. In that entire time, you have never gotten into an accident. Is it really that dangerous?

The truth

The simple answer is yes. Texting and driving is that dangerous. People feel concerned for a reason. Your own experience — not getting into an accident — does not mean that it’s safe. It just means that you are lucky.

Don’t believe it? Here are some statistics that shed light on the real risks, regardless of what your personal experience looks like:

  • Distractions cause around 421,000 crashes resulting in serious injuries every single year.
  • Of those, a full 78% link back to texting and driving. That means that around 330,000 severe injury cases happen annually due to texting and driving.
  • Some reports claim that a staggering 25% of all car accidents in the United States come from texting and driving, or one out of every four crashes.
  • The average amount of time between the beginning of the distraction and an accident is just three seconds. Keep that in mind the next time you look down at your phone. But, remember that even one second is still a risk.

Want to hear the real kicker? Some reports find that texting and driving is more dangerous than drunk driving. And not just a little more. They claim it is six times as likely to lead to a car accident.

Drunk driving, of course, is massively dangerous. Many drunk drivers can barely control the car. Even so, by the numbers, it’s safer to share the road with someone who is blackout drunk than it is to share the road with someone who is writing a text message.

After a crash

Now you know that texting and driving really is dangerous. Maybe these key facts helped you decide that you would never do it again.

If so, that’s great. But remember that you still face some serious risks out there because other drivers will still text behind the wheel. You must know what legal steps to take in Virginia after a crash.