We all know about the dangerous risks of driving while talking on our cell phone or maybe even worse, texting while driving. Even though we know the dangers associated with it, we still can’t seem to put that cell phone down when we are behind the wheel. Car accidents, pedestrian injuries and more can all be the result of our poor decisions. The truth is, driving while using a cell phone isn’t just dinging our cars or causing small injuries to those involved, it’s destroying lives and killing our loved ones.
Still, thousands and thousands of drivers insist that they can drive safely while responding to a text or dialing a phone number. Statistics prove otherwise. In 2020 alone, 3,142 lives were claimed as a consequence of distracted driving. Think of the 3,142 individual lives that are no longer being lived because of one choice that people made over and over – to drive while doing something else.
What can be done to help drivers fully understand the importance of not driving distracted, especially when it comes to driving while using a cell phone? What can you do if you are someone negatively affected by another’s actions while driving, walking, or riding your bike?
The Dangers of Texting and Driving
Reading what seems to be an important text only takes a few seconds right? You can still keep one eye on the road while finding out what your friend has to say about tonight’s dinner plans. Now think about how far you can drive in those few seconds. Way too far to not be looking at the road!
Have you ever heard of the “hangover effect”? While it may only take you four or five seconds to read the actual text you receive, once you look up you must reorient yourself to the road and those cars surrounding you. This can take up to four times as long as reading that text, and this “re-orienting time” is known as the “hangover effect”.
Really stop and think about how important that text is that you are reading or sending. Think about those you have in your car and the responsibility you have to keep them safe as well as those around you. Consider making the choice to pull over if you need to read a text or wait until you get to your destination to answer somebody’s questions. The risk of car accidents just isn’t worth it.
Texting and Driving Laws
Almost every single state has some kind of law regarding cell phone usage and texting while driving. Some states fine you financially, while others not only fine you a large amount of money but can also suspend your driver’s license and charge you with a misdemeanor. If someone is injured, cell phone users can even face jail time. It suddenly feels a lot more serious doesn’t it?
Every state but Montana has a text messaging ban, and most states have a handheld ban on cell phones altogether. While it’s important to know what the laws are regarding cell phones, it’s even more important to note the risk to yourself and others and act accordingly. You don’t need the government to tell you what’s safe and what you should and should not do, you know.
Insurance Rate Impacts from Driving Distracted
Besides the legal ramifications of driving distracted on a phone, you can be forced to take driver safety courses, points can be added to your driving record and your car insurance premiums can (and most likely will) increase.
Car insurance premiums are all calculated for each policy holder and are based on things like where you live, your credit score, driving history, and the kind of car you drive. Having a texting and driving violations on your record can make the cost of insurance pricey!
Preventing Texting and Driving Car Accidents
In the end, it doesn’t matter what laws are put into place to discourage driving distracted. The threat of car accidents and even death doesn’t seem to be enough to deter so many drivers from texting and using their cell phones. What can you do on your own to prevent you, your loved ones, and those around you from getting hurt?
The best and easiest way to prevent driving distracted is to stop driving distracted yourself. Changes begin with you. Even though you may feel like you can’t make the big change on your own, you can be an example to your friends and family. Set ground rules for your teens that are starting to drive so they know that driving and talking on the phone or driving and texting is unacceptable. Change is hard, but if everyone does their part, great things will happen!
Some ideas to help you make a commitment to STOP driving while using your cell phone can include:
- Checking your text messages and respond to them before starting your drive.
- Putting your phone somewhere completely out of reach so you aren’t tempted to grab it and check your messages.
- Plugging in the address of your destination before you leave so you don’t have to figure it out on the road.
- Putting your phone on “do not disturb” while you’re driving to keep notifications from coming in.
- Educate others about the dangers of driving distracted. Make your voice heard at your workplace, in your community, at school, and more.
Involved in a Distracted Driving Accident?
If you have done what you can to avoid driving distracted and still end up in an accident with a driver that was using their cell phone, it can be incredibly frustrating! The legal team at Wormington & Bollinger understands and wants to help.
The experience and compassionate care the Wormington & Bollinger group delivers to their clients takes a tough and frustrating situation and makes it doable. With our help, you can receive the compensation you deserve from the car accidents negligent driver that injured you. Contact us for help in your distracted driving accident case today.