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Why is texting and driving so dangerous?

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

A college student is heading home for the weekend when her phone buzzes. She had originally set it on the passenger seat so that she wouldn’t be distracted by it while she drove, but she reaches over to pick it up when the text message comes in. She looks down at the screen to unlock her phone and starts to read the text message, and then she rear-ends your vehicle as you wait at a red light.

Texting and driving is clearly dangerous, and this is just one example of how accidents can result from this behavior. You may not make any driving mistakes yourself, and you may simply be sitting at a red light, waiting for the color to change, but you can still be involved in a severe accident due to another’s distractions. All it takes is one other driver who makes a mistake to change your life.

3 types of distraction

Texting – or otherwise using a phone in almost any capacity – really is one of the most distracting activities that motorists can engage in. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has divided driving distractions into three categories. These classifications include manual distractions that take a driver’s hands from the controls, visual distractions that take their eyes from the road and cognitive distractions that take their mind off of the task at hand. Any one of these could cause a car accident, even if a traveler is not distracted in the other two ways.

The primary issue with texting and driving, or using a cell phone, is that it checks all three of these boxes. It’s a visual distraction as the driver looks down. It’s a manual distraction as a driver reaches for the phone, so they’re not in control of the vehicle and can’t act quickly to avoid a crash. It’s also a cognitive distraction because a driver is thinking about their phone and processing the information on that phone.

This conduct is ultimately a recipe for disaster, as an accident could lead to severe and even life-changing injuries. If you have been hurt as a result of another’s distractions, know that you may be able to seek financial compensation for lost wages, lost future earnings, pain and suffering, medical bills and many other costs. Seeking legal guidance is a good way to learn more.