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Distracted Driving: The Trouble with Texting

Although the dangers of texting while driving have been well documented, a disturbing 77% of adults and 55% of teenagers say they can “easily manage” texting and driving.

Unfortunately, even the most coordinated driver is much less adept at multitasking (including texting and driving) than they realize.

In the time it takes to send the average text message (5 seconds), a driver traveling at 55 mph covers the length of a football field. That’s 100 yards that a driver’s eyes are off the road, putting everyone around him or her in extreme danger.

Think you’re fine texting only at stoplights? A recent study shows that people are distracted up to 27 seconds after they finish sending a text. Long after you’ve texted your friend you’re running late and hit the gas pedal, your brain is still focused on the message you sent.

Knowing these statistics, it’s no surprise that 1 out of every 4 traffic crashes that occur in the U.S. are caused by cell phone usage.

So besides a false sense of confidence, why do drivers feel compelled to text on the road?

For more than 40% of texting drivers, they reported it had become a habit. Drivers also reported feeling a need to stay connected, fear of missing something important, or expectations others have for an immediate response as reasons for texting while driving.

The reality that so many lose sight of in the moment they initiate a text response is that no text message is more important than the life of the driver or others on the road. Recent studies have shown that driving and texting causes a risk equal to driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Texting and driving are a dangerous and all too frequently lethal combination. So what steps can you take to eliminate temptation to text and commit to focused driving?

  • #JustDriveKC Tip #1: DESIGNATE A TEXTER.
    If you have a passenger, ask that person to be your phone handler and address any issues that arise.
  • #JustDriveKC Tip #2: PUT YOUR PHONE IN THE TRUNK.
    There’s no better way to ensure you stay off your phone than by keeping it out of reach.
  • #JustDriveKC Tip #3: GET A RIDE.
    Want to text your friends on the way to the party? Consider employing a service like a taxi, Uber, or Lyft to free you from the need to focus on the road.

At Meyerkord, Russell & Hergott, we’ve seen firsthand the devastation distracted driving causes to individuals and families. By pledging to stop texting while driving and avoid distracted driving, you’re not only protecting yourself but also everyone on the road.

For more resources and information, visit Meyerkord, Russell & Hergott’s #JustDriveKC page or search and use hashtag #JustDriveKC to join the movement to end distracted driving.

To get in touch with our firm, call (816) 867-8611 or use our contact form.

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