Have you ever driven while talking on the phone, texting or using your smart phone in any way while driving? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Smart phones have become so ingrained in our culture, that it’s hard for many drivers to put them down, even when operating a vehicle.
While most drivers know it’s dangerous to read (96%) or type (97%) a text or email on a hand-held cellphone while driving, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds 42% have read a text or email and 32% have typed one in the past 30 days. That means we know it’s wrong, but many of us do it anyway.
“We have created a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ culture on our roadways. Drivers understand the risk; they just don’t think they are the problem,” said Kimberly Schwind, senior manager, public affairs at AAA Ohio Auto Club.
The scary truth is that texting and driving can have the same consequences as drinking and driving: deaths and injuries. The fact is, taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of being involved in a crash.
While distracted driving crashes and deaths are drastically underreported, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates distracted driving kills an average of nine people and injures more than 1,000 every day in the United States.
And it’s not just texting. Talking on a cell phone is also dangerous, and has been proven to elevate your crash risk. Many drivers (80%) say they know talking on a hand-held cellphone while driving is dangerous. Yet, more than half of drivers (52%) say they’ve done this at least once in the past 30 days.
Whether it’s talking on a phone, texting, emailing, watching videos or doing any of the other countless activities on your smart phone, AAA is committed to helping drivers curb the urge to engage in these distracting behaviors behind the wheel.
Consider this, you wouldn’t drink and drive, so why would you text and drive? Both actions put your life and the lives of others at risk. It’s ultimately your choice, but next time you consider picking up your phone while driving, remember the potential consequences.
AAA encourages you to put down your phones. Lives depend on it. Don’t drive intoxicated. Don’t drive intexticated. For more on this sobering message, visit AAA.com/DontDriveDistracted.