Friday, March 14, 2014

Prevent Accidents: Don’t Text and Drive!

In a previous blog we discussed the three main types of driver distractions: visual, manual, and cognitive. Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it encompasses all three of these distractions. 

A driver is visually distracted while looking at the phone, cognitively distracted while reading or composing the text, and manually distracted while typing out their message. Texting and the use of hand-held phones while driving became illegal in Nevada in 2012, yet thousands of drivers still use their cell phones each day.

The NHTSA has a great website, www.distraction.gov, that presents a variety of information about texting and distracted driving. Some of the shocking facts reported by the NHTSA include:
  • Using a cell phone or other hand-held device while driving increases your risk of being in an accident by three times.
  • On average, you look away from the road for 4.6 seconds while sending or reading a text message. If you are going just 55 mph, you will drive the length of an entire football field during that time, and will do so while essentially blind.
  • 25% of teenagers respond to text messages once or more every single time they drive.
  • 20% of teenagers and 10% of parents say that they have extended text conversations while driving.

Tips to Prevent Texting While Driving

Despite the startling statistics, motorists continue to put themselves, their passengers, and all others on the road in danger by texting while driving. Many teens do not understand the serious risks of distracted driving, and for other drivers, texting while driving is a bad habit that they need to break.

Fortunately, there are various steps you can take to prevent texting on the road and to stay focused while driving:
  • Shut off the volume. If you can’t hear your phone’s notifications, you will be less distracted while driving and less likely to text. Set your phone to silent (not vibrate) as soon as you get in the car.
  • Hide your phone. If you are still tempted to text even while your phone is on silent, the best thing to do is put your phone where you can’t get to it. For example, you can put your phone in your trunk or inside of a bag on the back seat of your car.
  • Turn to apps. There are a variety of apps you can download to stop yourself from texting on the roads. Some of the apps available include:
    • DriveSafe.ly – the app reads text messages and emails aloud and automatically responds without you even touching your phone.
    • tXtBlocker – the app allows you to set locations and times of day when your phone won’t accept texts or calls, such as during your commute.
    • Textecution – the app disables the phone’s texting ability if you are traveling faster than 10 mph.
    • The Otter App – the app disables the phone’s ability to text if you are traveling faster than a certain speed, and allows you to send an automated text reply.
  • Get help from a passenger. If you get an important text while driving, ask a passenger to read it aloud and then to send a response for you. Make sure you do the same when you are a passenger.
Do your part to prevent accidents by committing to stop texting and driving. This simple act can help protect yourself, your loved ones, and everyone else on the road.

Based in Las Vegas, De Castroverde Law Group represents victims of all types of negligent accidents. Visit our website to find out more about our experienced legal counsel.