Writing or reading a text on a smartphone takes the eyes off the road for too long.
The National Safety Council’s (NSC) statistics regarding distracted driving have shown that motorists who send and receive text messages while behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash.
These behaviors cause drivers to look away from the road too often or too long.
When both eyes and attention are being taken off the road, the risk of making a mistake or not seeing a change in the road conditions will skyrocket. Typically, it takes only a split second for an accident to occur. If you are glancing down at a text, any opportunity to avoid will have been completely eliminated.
The NSC’s distracted driving statistics show that even simply glancing to read is dangerous.
Some drivers are under the impression that as long as they do not attempt to reply to a message, then they can simply glance down at the cell phone but continue to keep their eyes on the road most of the time. However, the statistics from the NSC have shown that this level of distraction is no safer than actually typing out a response.
Unfortunately, though, this message does not seem to be getting through to motorists. On any given approximately 9 percent of drivers will use their mobile phones while they’re behind the wheel. Data from the NSC shows that 21 percent of all crashes are connected to the use of a cell phone in some way, while 9 percent of all crashes are connected specifically to reading or typing text messages.
To better understand that distracted driving stat, it means that in 2010, cell phones were behind about 1.1 million vehicle crashes.
A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute showed that drivers who text behind the wheel look away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds at a time. This was enough time for them to drive a greater distance as the length of a football field. Clearly, distracted driving at that speed and for that length of time can allow any number of circumstances to occur, unnoticed by the driver.