The cardinal rule in driving is that drivers must always keep their eyes on the road to avoid accidents and mishaps. But that’s easier said than done, especially if you’re the type to use your smartphone while driving.
Sending a text message while driving can lead to a fatal collision. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), five seconds of distraction while your car is going 55 mph is equivalent to driving down the entire length of a football field – with your eyes closed.
How dangerous can texting while driving be?
Citing data from 2020, the NHTSA found the following information:
- 13% of all fatal distracted driving accidents in 2020 involved smartphone use or sending texts
- Smartphone use while driving accounted for 29,999 distracted driving injury crashes – the equivalent of 9% of all distracted driving injury crashes in 2020
- Crashes involving the use of a mobile device while behind the wheel made up 9% of all police-reported distracted driving collisions, or equal to 50,098 accidents
And how many people die from texting while driving?
The same NHTSA report noted that:
- In 2020, 396 people were killed due to texting and driving-related accidents
- The prior year, 2019, was worse – 430 people were killed in accidents caused by mobile device use while driving
- In addition, 2019 saw 566 pedestrians, cyclists, and other non-passengers killed in distracted driving crashes; this number includes cases where the driver was using their phone
All these figures say that texting while driving is a bad idea. In the first place, it is a Class 2 misdemeanor to use a phone while driving unless it’s for hands-free calls, emergency calls or GPS navigation.
Stealing a glance at your phone, even for just a few seconds, is enough to significantly raise your risk of causing a collision. Consider stowing your phone away before driving to avoid the devastating consequences that await you and any other potential victims. And if you’re a passenger, don’t be afraid to inform the driver that they should keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.