Texting while driving is much like smoking: Its dangers are well-known and it causes many deaths every year, yet people still continue to do it. It may seem like no big deal to look away from the road for a split second and respond to a text message, but in reality, this small action can have monumental consequences for yourself and the rest of the drivers on the road.
There are several ways to avoid the dangers of texting and driving, including using safer methods of communication. Consider the following alternatives to texting and driving that can reduce the likelihood of car accidents and keep everybody on the road safer.
1. Turn your phone off
The Colorado Senate approved legislation Monday seeking to ban the use of hands-free devices while driving. This originally meant you could use Bluetooth or another similar system to talk on the phone without ever looking away from the road or taking your hands away from the wheel. Turning off your phone completely is a good alternative to texting or talking while driving.
2. Set an away message
If you worry that friends and family will get the wrong impression when you do not respond to texts, you can always set an away message on your phone when you are about to get on the road. Many phones allow you to set an auto-response that informs anybody texting you that you are currently driving and unable to respond to their message.
3. Wait to communicate/pull to the side of the road
At the end of the day, no text message or phone call is more important than your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road. Most messages, too, are not of an urgent nature. The best alternative to texting and driving is to simply wait until you are at your destination to look at your phone and respond. This reduces the possibility of a car accident that could cause injuries.
What is Distracted Driving
Distracted driving can be any activity that involves someone taking their attention away from focusing on the road. Types of distracted driving include: talking, texting, eating, and fiddling with your stereo or navigation system. Any non-driving activity can increase your risk of crashing. In 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation released the National Roadway Safety Strategy which includes road safety strategies to lower the risks of crashing.
Why is Texting and Driving Harmful
Texting and driving is considered dangerous because it can cause cognitive, manual, and visual distractions. Many people believe they can multitask which is why texting and driving is so common. The three types of distraction are described below:
- Cognitive distraction occurs when the driver stops thinking about driving. An example of this can be a driver conversing with a passenger.
- Manual distraction occurs when a driver removes their hands from the steering wheel or foot from the gas pedal. An example of this is the driver reaching for something in the backseat.
- Visual distraction occurs when the driver does not continue to look at the road. An example of this can be the driver spotting something on the side of the road or reading an email on their phone.
Despite the many laws that are in place to stop texting and driving to occur, many individuals still continue to put their and other lives at risk. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident related to distracted driving please contact one of our lawyers or call us directly at (800)200-3120.