Car Crashes due to Texting while Driving: Highly Preventable Accidents
Texting while driving accounts for the highest number of car crashes among the many types of driver error or distracted driving. Due to the danger it puts the (texting) driver and other motorists and pedestrians on the road, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) saw the necessity of illegalizing this irresponsible behavior behind the wheel. Though different from being intoxicated due to liquor or drugs, texting and using handheld phones, likewise, impair a driver, as these also take away a driver’s concentration and lessen his/her capability to make timely reactions in the event of an emergency.
The National Safety Council, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-governmental group devoted to protecting the life and health of the American people, conducted a study which revealed that car accidents, due to cell phone use, is highest among young drivers, but so are drunk-driving and reckless driving. The same study also showed that while majority of young drivers say that no driver should text while operating a vehicle, they, themselves, were shown to be guilty of committing the same violation. Yet what is more alarming is their defense, saying that they were texting only when it was safe, like at stop lights, and that they have full control of the vehicle, anyway.
Using a handheld phone to text, make or answer a call, makes a driver take his/her hand off the wheel and his/her eyes off the road. When driving, there is no “too short a time” when attention is diverted to something else, for even a couple of ticks on the watch may already be too long, enough time to cause an accident which, in turn can result to severe injuries or even death.
The government does not ban texting and using handheld phones altogether; but if a driver really needs to text or call someone, then he/she is advised to drive and stop his/her vehicle to a safe spot first and then make his/her call. In this event, accidents can be prevented and everyone guaranteed safe. Accidents are unexpected events, of course, but these are mainly due to recklessness and/or negligence; thus, these can easily be prevented if only drivers will decide to follow the traffic rules which they were asked to learn by heart when they were still trying to learn how to drive.