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Is Texting and Driving Just as Dangerous as Drunk Driving?

Look at the California drivers in traffic around you and you will no doubt see many of them sneaking sideways glances at cellphones — cellphones that could be flagrantly in view or subtly obscured out of sight from police and other drivers. The fact is that that the addictive and compulsive nature of smartphone use is driving many California motorists to break the law and engage in dangerous texting while operating their vehicles.

The fact is, texting and driving is exceedingly more dangerous than drunk driving. The reason is probably due to the fact that texters have to take their eyes off the road in front of them for an average of 4.6 seconds in order to read an inbound text or send an outbound text. That is like driving the length of a football field at a speed of 55 miles per hour while wearing a blindfold. Now imagine doing this in Los Angeles traffic and you can see how extremely risky this behavior is.

In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims that texting while driving is a full six times more dangerous than driving under the influence. Could this be true? Think about the size of the football field and driving with the blindfold on and everything makes sense.

Every year 3,000 people are killed as a result of texting-while-driving collisions. Meanwhile, 330,000 people suffer injuries caused by behavior.

The law can only do so much to prevent wrongful death and injuries caused by texting while driving. California drivers and passengers need to speak up to prevent this potentially life-threatening behavior. If you are riding with a person who is using his or her smartphone behind the wheel, ask the person to stop. If you have a family member or friend who continually breaks the law in this fashion, educate the person about how dangerous it is.

Source: potsdam.edu, “Driving while Texting Six Times More Dangerous than Driving while Drunk” accessed Mar. 20, 2015
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