April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. And like recent blog posts, Connecticut Auto Insurance: Technology Makes Driving Easier, our main goal is keeping you and your family safe behind the wheel. In this post we’ll tackle one of the leading culprits of distracted driving: texting.
Mobile communication has been linked to a serious increase in distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2010 that driver distraction caused 18 percent of all fatal crashes, and over 416,000 injuries.
Among the mediums of mobile communication, texting has emerged as one of the biggest. An estimate by Bloomberg TV estimates that 8 trillion text messages are sent every year, with 2.2 trillion being sent in the United States alone.
Texting while driving seems to be particularly rampant among teenagers. Forty percent of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put the passengers in danger. And eleven percent of drivers 18-20 who were involved in a crash admitted they were sending or receiving texts when they crashed.
Texting is a particular issue because it distracts the drivers in three ways. It requires you to visually take your eyes off the road to glance at the screen, take your hands away from the wheel to type, and you are mentally distracted by transferring your focus from the road to the message. According to the Federal Communications Commission, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.
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