Smartphones are simply part of our everyday culture, and most of us use them every day to perform a variety of tasks. Having a smartphone can make it easy to text, check your email, take a photo or get directions. One time that you should never use a cell phone and that is when you are driving. Specifically, texting and driving is a serious problem in North Georgia and across the U.S.
Texting and driving statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at any moment 660,000 motorists are utilizing a cell phone while driving. The NHTSA also reports that 400 fatal motor vehicle accidents are caused each year by texting and driving. A report from Virginia Tech states a motorist is 20 times more apt to be involved in a motor vehicle accident while texting and driving compared to when they are driving without using a cell phone.
Just how dangerous is texting and driving?
One resource states texting affects a motorist’s reaction time the same as if the motorist had consumed four beers in an hour and then got behind the wheel of a car. Texting is so distracting that it is as if you are driving the entire length of a football field at 55 mph with your eyes closed.
Texting is especially dangerous because it involves all forms of distraction. When we text, our eyes are on our phone not the road — a visual distraction. When we text, our hands are on our phone not the steering wheel — a manual distraction. Finally, when we text, our attention is on the message we are receiving or sending not the task of driving — a cognitive distraction. Given this, it is easy to see why texting and driving is so dangerous.
Texting and driving can be seen as a breach of a motorist’s duty to drive reasonably under the circumstances. If this breach causes a car crash that would not have occurred but for the breach, the injured party may want to consider whether it is possible to file a negligence claim.