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Texting-and-Driving: Why Does It Cause So Many Car Accidents?


Texting-and-driving is a serious problem on America’s roadways that contributes to countless car accidents each year. Depending on the safety study you read, you can find information that suggests that anywhere between 10% and 40% of all drivers regularly use their smartphones while behind the wheel. Since there is always the assumption that some survey participants will lie to save face, even when surveyed anonymously, the actual percentage is probably even higher.

What many drivers do not understand is just how overtly dangerous it is to text-and-drive. If they did, then the number of texting drivers would probably drop dramatically.

Three Distinct Forms of Driver Distractions

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has spent a lot of time trying to figure out why texting-and-driving is so dangerous. The organization’s research has led it to divide driver distractions into three distinct categories.

What are the three forms of driver distraction according to the CDC?

  • Manual: When a distraction takes your hands off the wheel, you are being manually distracted.
  • Visual: Any distraction that takes your eyes off the road around you is a visual distraction.
  • Cognitive: Lastly, a cognitive distraction is anything that takes your mind off the task of driving.

Cognitive distractions are more dangerous than they first appear to be, though. Information from the National Safety Council (NSC) suggests that cognitive distractions can linger for up to 30 seconds or longer once the original source of the distraction is gone. For example, if you see a billboard and think about what it was advertising, then your mind is likely to keep ruminating on the ad for another 30 seconds at least, instead of staying focused on the road.

Texting-and-Driving: The Worst of Three Worlds

When it comes to driving distractions, text-and-driving is so dangerous because it combines manual, visual, and cognitive distractions into one behavior. Picking up a smartphone to read a text is a manual distraction. Typing a text using an emulation keyboard is a clear manual distraction. Reading the text for even a couple of seconds is a serious visual distraction. Thinking about what the text said and how you want to respond is a cognitive distraction.

Speaking of visual distractions caused by cellphones, it takes about five seconds to read the average text message. If you are driving at highway speeds when you glance at a text, then you will travel about the entire length of a football field by the time you look back at the road. No one should be traveling that far of a distance blindly, especially not in a fast-moving piece of machinery.

Explore Your Legal Options after a Crash

If you have been hit by a distracted driver in Waco, The Law Offices of Vic Feazell can help you decide how you want to advance your car accident claim. Using our years of experience, we can help investigate the cause of your crash. Proving that the other driver was using their smartphone when they hit you can dramatically increase their liability, possibly up to 100% of all damages.

Get more information about your legal options and the compensation you could get from a distracted driver by calling now.