Texting While Driving – What You Should Know

Driving requires your complete attention as one moment of misjudgment can cause devastative results. The result may be irreversible since an accident can result in loss of limbs, deformation, or loss of life. Moreover, your loved ones who tried to contact you on the other end will remain shattered for a lifetime for their inadvertent mistake. All this happens just because you could not resist your temptation to look towards your mobile screen for few seconds. 

It all seems simple and nothing hazardous because you have done it a thousand times before. When you can get through it so many times, why should you stop doing it now? Every time you text and drive, you are putting yourself and others at known risk. One single traffic accident time is enough to turn your life topsy-turvy. Why would you want to knock on the door of death knowingly by increasing your chances of risk by 23 times? Nothing is worth imperiling your life as you do not remain to enjoy the benefits of whatever you jeopardized your life for. 

What makes you put yourself in such a dangerous position which is not worth your life? How did this texting and driving start, and why has it become a significant issue? Who is more vulnerable, and why? Here the possible causes and solutions are discussed in this article. 

The Problem Of Texting While Driving

You are responsible for several lives directly or indirectly while driving the vehicle. What happens when you do not consider distraction driving is a risk and text while navigating?

1. Illegal: In several states, it is unlawful to drive while texting. It may lead to a ticket, fine, or jail, depending on the state laws.

2. Insurance Issues: Your ticket will lead to an increase in your insurance prices if you are to pay it and reduced insurance repayments when you receive the benefits.

3. Vehicle Damage: When you are heading fast in your vehicle and trying to text, the possibility of hitting any objects on your way or another vehicle increases. Your automobile is most likely to be damaged when you bump into something speedily. It will need repairs which again are not cheap.

4. Injuries And Fatalities: Texting and driving increase the risk of traffic accidents. There are high chances of injuries and possible fatalities. It can involve you, co-passengers, or others on the road.

5. Autocorrect Mishaps: If you ever were a autocorrect victim, you will know what I am speaking of. While driving, you do not check your message as attentively as you usually do. It can lead to a catastrophe with just a single auto-corrected word capable of giving a whole new meaning to the text. Well, this reason though not physically damaging but can lead to strained relations.

The pain you incurred burdens your loved ones, but they will also be afflicted with something else. They can never get through the guilt of sending that text message, which left you crippled.

Why It Is Risky To Text When You Drive

The top reason for traffic accidents is distracted driving. The shocking reason for the inattentiveness of drivers is mainly due to texting and driving. Nearly half a million people faced fatalities and crashiing injuries as they were texting while driving. Even though 97% of drivers agree that it is harmful, they still cannot control this behavior, despite being aware of it. 

The appalling detail is that several of them are youngsters who engage in long texting time while driving. Apart from texting, several other functionalities the modern-day brought about into our pocket are also the reason. Navigation, music, texting, and attending calls while driving are all dangerous feats, especially when driving at high speeds. 

How Is Texting A Dangerous Distraction?

Distraction during driving is caused by many activities such as eating, talking to passengers, adjusting music, or answering a phone call. However, texting is the most attention-seeking activity to apply your mind and vision away from the road. You may also be driving one-handed while texting with others, which makes it challenging to manipulate the vehicle when in danger.

  1. Vision – You need to look at the cell phone to read the message or notification and your eyes wander away from the road ahead. As you speed while looking away from the road, you will never know what changes in a moment. There are high chances of missing useful information such as signals or a slowing down car in front of you. It will be too late to attend to the potential hazard when you smash right into the vehicle.
  2. Mind – Your mind shifts the focus from what is coming ahead on the road to what’s the message? And what to reply? These few seconds of distraction makes a considerable difference in critical decision making. You could have made a better one that avoids the destruction if you were not distracted driving.
  3. Physical – When you start using one of your hands for typing, you will be controlling the vehicle with only one hand. If and adversity surfaces steering your car off, it will not be as easy and quick as when you are in control with two hands. A moving vehicle needs to be fast enough to avoid traffic accidents, and in this case, your efficiency for swiftness decreases significantly.

How About Alternatives For Texting

There are other alternatives to texting while driving, which seemingly require lesser attention can make your life safer. Though not totally but they do have an absolute advantage over direct texting and driving.

  • Voice Recognition: These applications take the dictated message, which does not require your hands to type the text. The only thing is you need to select the contacts manually, but still, it does reduce the risk considerably.
  • Auto Responders: Your caller or message sender receives a pre-written message which tells them why you cannot answer them at that moment. When they receive a proper response that you are busy driving, it keeps them informed and you at ease.
  • Text Blockers: When your vehicle’s speed is above 10 mph, texting is disabled automatically. Generally, this is the most preferred app by teenagers’ parents as it does not allow them to text if they are driving at high speed.

The solution lies in controlling your urge to check your messages while you are on the move. It is as simple as turning your cell phone off for messages. Alternatively, you can rely on few applications to help if you cannot stop yourself from promptly looking at your phone when it lights up. 

These apps serve as temptation resisters even for highly addicted individuals as they operate automatically based on few parameters like the vehicle’s speed. However, you need to install them and turn them on to use the apps to avoid distraction.

Who Is Affected?

Young people are at high risk as habituated to use their cell phones even before driving. Also, they expect an instant response, which explains why they immediately check messages or reply. However, even elders admit having long text conversations while driving and again forget that their kids are watching them doing it. If you look at the big picture, everyone who cannot control the urge to reach their cell phone to send texts while driving is at risk. 

Texting can wait

How Can ItCanWait Simulator Help You?

IT CAN WAIT campaign has introduced few measures to help bring about comprehensive awareness of this issue. It encourages you to take a pledge that binds you to the promise of not responding to texts until it is safe to do so. Apart from the pledge, it also enlightens drivers of the consequences of using the virtual reality experience.

To have a complete experience, you need a VR chair, app, and internet connection to support the video. When you are ready with all the necessary arrangements and start using the simulator app, you will feel like you are driving on a real road. While you are navigating through obstacles, you will receive a text message which distracts your attention. While steering, you must reply to the text and are distracted. Here the simulator app shows you what disaster distracted driving can cause. You will be able to experience an accident or crash, and many agree that it is a life-changing moment.

This initiative by AT&T is towards making roads safer, and there are constant improvements and additions to this initiative. It has several other parts of this program where the simulator is an influential part of this effort.

Conclusion

Nearly 50% of people text while they drive, even after knowing the consequences they need to face. Among the young people in the age group of 16 to 20 are most affected due to texting distraction issues. What’s more astonishing is they do it even after knowing the impairment they might face. The best way to help them think more seriously about it is by exposing them to the scenario without really endangering them. Simulation apps play a significant role in getting the job done as they virtually provide a real case experience. Hopefully, this experiment serves to bring about a change in drivers’ mindset and lead to betterment that reduces traffic disasters. 

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