Gregory & Swapp: Texting and Driving

Craig Swapp with Gregory & Swapp talks about texting and driving.

How bad is the problem of texting and driving?

For most teenagers and young adults, texting is the preferred form of communication over cell phone conversations. The average teenager now receives nearly 3,000 text messages a month…unfortunately nearly 50% of teenagers surveyed admit to receiving and sending texts while driving. A big mistake that can have serious consequences.

Why is this dangerous?

A Virginia Tech study indicated that texting while driving increases your risk of a crash or near-crash by 23 times. Another study (conducted by CNET) indicated reading a text message takes an average of 4.6 seconds. That’s nearly 5 seconds where the driver is not looking ahead and focusing on changing traffic conditions. To put that in perspective, a driver reading a text message at 55 mph will travel farther than a football field before looking up. That could be catastrophic if traffic ahead is slowing or stopping. Another problem is drifting out of your lane. A Clemson University study showed that drivers who text are more prone to wander out of their lane onto the shoulder or into on-coming traffic.

Texting is not going away. What is recommended?

If you receive a call or text on the road, resist the temptation to answer. Let your voice mail pick it up or let the text message wait in the in-box. If you must make a call or look at a text, pull off the road completely and safely before using the cell phone. But most importantly, don’t text and drive. Texting is a distraction for the mind, eyes, and at least one hand—all of which are needed for driving.

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