One of the main reasons that people text and drive is simply because they think they can do it successfully. They’ve seen the accident statistics, but they don’t think it will happen to them.
Part of the problem could be that they don’t really realize how far they’re going. They glance up at the road, see a bit of a distance between them and the next car on that road and think they have time to glance at the phone.
How far do you think they’re really going while sending that text message? Studies have suggested that it’s over 100 yards.
Of course, speed matters. For the sake of the study, researchers assumed cars were going at a typical highway speed of 55 mph. They also assumed drivers were looking down for four seconds. If it takes longer than a few seconds to type that message out, the distance increases.
But, even with just the short distraction at normal speeds, the car would drive around 108 yards with the driver looking down the whole time.
To think of it another way, imagine your car parked at the end of a football field. To simulate the drive, you’d have to close your eyes, press on the gas and drive all the way to the other side of the field without peeking.
If that sounds terrifying, think about it the next time your phone buzzes in the car.
Of course, avoiding texting and driving yourself doesn’t mean the issue fades away. Distracted driving causes thousands of accidents every year, and it’s critical for those who are hurt to know if they have a right to financial compensation.
Source: Huffington Post, “Sending A Text Behind The Wheel Is Like Driving Blindfolded Across A Football Field,” Damon Beres, accessed Aug. 24, 2017