Texting while driving (TWD), accessing the Internet and talking on a cell phone while driving is at least as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. Oftentimes, busy people access the Internet on their cell phones. Their home life and work life are dependent on technology. The cell phone has replaced the calculator, calendar, camera and computer. Our lives are literally dependent on cell phone technology.
Until fairly recently multitasking was considered an essential skill in the business world. The problem with multitasking while driving is that it is difficult to concentrate on one task when you are trying to juggle several others at the same time. Many people multitask while driving. All too often, deadly wrecks occur when a driver tries to save a little time by sending a text, or checking the Net while driving. All it takes is a fraction of a second for a traffic accident to happen.
Much attention has been paid to texting and cell phone use on the news. There are deaths reported almost daily which were attributed to cell phone use and texting. Many states have made it illegal to text while driving (TWD). You might think that it is the inexperienced driver who would be most at risk for an accident when texting while driving. On the contrary, everyone (experienced or not) is a split second away from death when they attempt to send a text or read one. This kind of multitasking will get you killed.
Studies have been done to evaluate cell phone use, and texting while driving. The attention span of a person using a cell to text was much more likely to cause an accident. The attention span of a person who is sending or reading a text while driving is similar to the attention span of a person who is driving while drunk. The FCC Consumer Advisory reported 5800 deaths due to fatal accidents in 2008. Approximately 16 percent of all accidents are due to being distracted in some way. Oftentimes, teenagers believe nothing bad will ever happen to them. Parents need to set the example by practicing what they preach. If you want your teen driver to be safe, lead by example.
Author’s note: My own experience with using a cell phone while driving nearly caused me to have an accident. I wasn’t texting; I was just having a short conversation on the phone. I was watching the road, yet I drove part way into an intersection with a car heading right toward me. I was able to stop and back out of the middle of the intersection, but it could have ended badly for me and the person in the other vehicle. After that one experience I never spoke on the phone while driving; I either pulled off the road or waited until I could safely use the phone. .
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FCC Consumer Advisory