You know that if you want to be as safe as possible and adhere to all traffic laws while driving, you should never text-and-drive. What you might not know is why texting-and-driving is considered one of the absolute worst things a driver can do. Texting is clearly distracting, but, according to various safety groups, it is extremely distracting because it combines three forms of deadly distractions into one bad behavior.
Three Ways Texting Distracts You
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put a lot of time and effort into researching why texting-and-driving is so dangerous. According to the organization’s data, there are nine fatal car accidents in the country each day caused by or involving a driver who was distracted, usually by their own smartphone. By sharing their research, the CDC hopes to encourage more people to drive without texting and reduce the number of car accidents each day.
What are the three distraction types that come together while texting-and-driving?
- Visual: When you take your eyes off the road, you are engaging in a visual distraction. Looking at a text message requires you to look away from the road.
- Manual: When you take your hands off the steering wheel, you are engaging in a manual distraction. Picking up your smartphone to check a text message requires you to remove at least one hand from the steering wheel and typing a text will use both hands. To retain better control of your vehicle, you should have two hands on the steering wheel whenever possible.
- Cognitive: When you take your mind off the task of driving, you are engaging in a cognitive distraction. Thinking about a text message and the response you want to send allows your mind to wander. Cognitive distractions tend to linger for about 30 seconds after their source is set aside. In other words, when you read a text message, you will keep thinking about it for 30 seconds or longer.
To put the dangers of checking a single text message into context, imagine that you only take 5 seconds to grab your phone and peek at a message preview in your notifications bar. If you are traveling at 55 miles per hour, such as a typical highway or thoroughfare speed, then you will have traveled more than 300 feet in that time. Would you want to travel so far and so quickly without paying any attention to the road? Probably not.
Seek Legal Help After a Texting-and-Driving Accident
The CDC data shows that distracted drivers are practically always on the road. While you can drive defensively to protect yourself from their negligence, there is no way to guarantee you won’t be blindsided by a texting driver. It pays to know ahead of time what to do in case you are ever hurt in this all-too-common scenario.
After getting identifying and insurance information from the other driver and seeing a medical professional to check on your injuries, you should call an attorney. Texting drivers are notorious for denying that they were texting because they know the behavior is inexcusably reckless and illegal. You will be in for an uphill battle with them and their insurance company, which is why it is so important to get a lawyer on your side as soon as possible. You can immediately gain insight and knowledge into how to best progress your injury claim by allowing an attorney to act on your behalf.
Hit by a texting driver while driving the roads and highways of Oklahoma? Martin Jean & Jackson would like to hear from you to see if we can help you pursue fair compensation. Call to discuss what happened with one of our texting-and-driving accident lawyers. We have offices in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Stillwater, and Ponca City for your convenience.