With almost 229 million licensed drivers across America, there’s no denying the fact that texting, along with general phone use, when behind the wheel of a vehicle is both bad news for you and other road users.
Part of the ‘distracted driving’ blanket which encapsulates all acts that take a driver’s attention away from critical road elements like road signs, traffic lights, and other vehicles – texting and driving is 100% as sketchy as it sounds.
Even if a driver is the best texter on the planet, able to construct an entire, perfectly punctuated text without looking down at their phone once – this act will still take their attention away from what’s in front of them – the road.
In this article, we will put forward the history of cell phone ban laws in America, as well as the most startling facts and statistics that relate to road users texting while driving on American roads.
We will also highlight how drivers can learn to overcome the insatiable urge to pick up their phone if they hear, see or feel it go ping!
Related Search: San Antonio Car Accident Attorney
The History of Cell Phone Ban Laws
It is quite shocking to believe that before 2001 there were no laws in place in any state that banned the use of mobile phones while driving. Of course, it was frowned upon and many people wouldn’t do it out of principle, knowing full well the dangers it presented.
However, with no laws to stop them, others felt it their right to actually make a point of conducting important phone calls when behind the wheel.
New York state was the first to implement cell phone ban laws for all its road users. 41 other state governing bodies had, prior to 2001, proposed similar laws in their respective states but got voted down every time.
So you could say that New York was the state that broke the camel’s back on this one, and soon after most states followed suit.
These initial laws, much like the cell phones of the time, were quite primitive in that they only banned the exercise of talking on a cell phone. Having not included the plethora of other ways in which, today, is common mobile phone practice. This meant that texting while driving wasn’t actually banned in most states until 2007.
A time when it had already become very clear that more and more of us were texting while driving and texting in general. Nowadays Montana is the only state in the country that doesn’t have a total statewide ban on texting and driving.
Texting And Driving Facts And Stats
If there’s one thing that showcases why texting and driving is a dangerous idea, it is the endless facts and statistics that surround this most questionable of driving moves.
By highlighting the most alarming truths that relate to American roads specifically – anyone who was sitting on the fence on the subject will quickly find themselves firmly standing on the “it’s wrong’’ side.
- At any one time of the day, it is estimated that some 660,000 road users will be using their cell phones while in control of a vehicle.
- Road users are 20 times more likely to be involved in a crash, serious or otherwise when texting and driving than when they are not using a mobile phone.
- According to the National Safety Council, there are 1.6 million road crashes each year that are caused by cell phone usage.
- Almost 390,000 road accidents that result in injury each year are due to texting and driving.
- People who text and drive have a 400% increase in time spent driving while not looking at the road.
- A staggering 21% of teen drivers who are involved in fatal road accidents across America are distracted by their cell phones.
- In a similar light, teen drivers are 4 times more likely to be involved in a serious crash while texting and driving.
- Texting and driving have the same negative effects on your driving ability that having four beers in the space of one hour does.
- Picture the entire length of a football field and that is the distance that you can travel, driving at 55mph, with your eyes off the road while texting.
- There are over 400 direct deaths caused by texting and driving in the US each year.
- There are over 30,000 deaths in the US each year caused by distracted drivers as a whole.
As has become blindingly obvious from the listed facts and stats above – the benefits of texting and driving haven’t, doesn’t, and will never add up to rationalizing sneaking a cheeky text in when behind the wheel.
Ways To Overcome The Urge To Text And Drive
Like most habits in life, there are some tried and tested systems that we can put in place to help us stop texting while driving and steer us to the right side of caution. One very simple way that doesn’t require much thought or planning is to simply turn our phones to silent before or when we enter our cars.
This simple and easy step will stop many of us from knowing and hopefully thinking about when a message may have come through. Obviously, if your phone is also on vibrate, then switching this off could be a handy idea too.
If knowing that your phone is on and within arm’s reach is simply too much to bear, and no amount of silencing will stop you from picking it up, then switching it off would be the next step.
If this fails to work then placing it in the glove box, backseat or even the boot could be necessary if things have gotten way out of control.
For anyone who is app-savvy, there are, unsurprisingly, now many apps that help you to achieve a no texting and driving existence. If you’ve been texting and driving for years, and your habit is an impossible one to kick on your own – download one of the apps below and start your road to recovery today.
- AT&T’s DriveMode
- Sprint’s Drive First
- Sprint’s Safely Go
- Text No More
Frequently Asked Questions
What Happens If You Text And Drive?
Texting and driving is proven to dramatically slow a driver’s reaction time down. In fact, a study that was conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory found that a driver’s reaction time is cut by 37% when texting and driving.
When you compare this to a delay of 13% when drink driving at the legal limit, texting is almost 3 times more dangerous. Not that we are championing either, but you catch the drift.
What Percentage Of Car Accidents Are Caused By Texting And Driving?
Hold onto your chair for this stat as it’s a big one. It is estimated that 25% of all accidents on American roads each year are from a direct result of a driver texting and driving.
What Percentage Of Fatal Car Accidents Are Caused By Texting And Driving?
Fatal car accidents involving texting and driving amount to a staggering 9% of all fatal road accidents nationwide each year.
What Is The Number One Cause Of Distracted Driving In America?
Texting and driving is considered the number one cause of distracted driving across America. It leads the pack in front of other distractions such as using a GPS, talking to passengers, dealing with children and pets, and adjusting audio or climate controls.
Taking your attention away from driving and the list of duties that come with being a responsible road user is the best way to cause a road accident. With texting and driving being the leading cause of road accidents in the country.
Proven to take a driver’s attention away from the road more than any other distraction. It is clear that sending a cheeky text is never worth it. We hope this article was useful in highlighting why texting should be left to when the engine is off, and not while driving 70 down the freeway.