Texting While Driving: Dying Made Easy

drivetextingThe NYT reports that, among truckers, texting while driving increased the possibility of an accident by 23 times.  In other words, if you’re texting while you drive, you are 23 times more likely to get into an accident than you are if you do not text while driving.  This according to a new six million dollar study. (Photo: ABC News)

The rate lowered to eight times more likely to crash among college students.  That should give you great confidence.  If driving with a college student who is texting, you are only 800% more likely to crash.  Pity the poor person riding with a trucker–they face a 2300% better chance of crashing (and dying).

Here’s what the article says about those who text while driving:

“In the moments before a crash or near crash, drivers typically spent nearly five seconds looking at their devices — enough time at typical highway speeds to cover more than the length of a football field.

Compared with other sources of driver distraction, “texting is in its own universe of risk,” said Rich Hanowski, who oversaw the study at the institute.”

Gulp.

Also, for those of us who talk on the phone while driving–bad news:

“By comparison, several field and laboratory studies show that drivers talking on cellphones are four times more likely to cause a crash than other drivers. And a previous Virginia institute study videotaping car drivers found that they were three times more likely to crash or come close to a crash when dialing a phone and 1.3 times more likely when talking on it.”

Yikes.  Here’s the whole article.

As your self-appointed health expert, I strenuously encourage you not to text while driving.  Of course, even if you don’t text while operating your vehicle, other people will do so–most often those who have the least cause for multitasking while driving.

This is further proof of the inherent goodness of common-sense thinking.  It makes sense not to send text messages while driving 70 miles per hour down a crowded highway.  This also shows the risks that modern culture poses to us.  A hypertechnological society allows us all kinds of new possibilities.  Many of them, unfortunately, are laced with danger.

One need not swear off text-messaging or other forms of the new technology to live well and wisely.  But one should surely curtail usage when appropriate and teach one’s children to do so the same.  Many of us who talk on the phone while driving should think very seriously about doing so unless absolutely necessary.  Our lives–and our children’s lives–could be at stake.

Texting while driving–a great way to die (or kill someone).  Talking on the phone while driving–a pretty good way to die (or kill someone).


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