It also makes you about 6 times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk. These are just a couple of the surprising stats we noticed in one of our newsletters, Business Digest, a few days ago. In these unbelievable numbers you’ll see the immediate danger you face every day you drive a car.
According to the Business Digest, studies and statistics show that texting while driving:
• Makes you 23 times more likely to crash.
• Kills 11 teenagers every day.
• Causes 1,600,000 accidents and 330,000 injuries every year.
• Is responsible for about 25% of all accidents.
• Slows your brake-reaction speed 18%.
• Affects you the same as driving after 4 beers.
• Is similar to driving blind for 5 seconds at a time.
How often have you driven our Mohawk Valley roads and gotten startled by a car or truck coming right at you, swerving into your lane? Pretty often, we bet. It’s gotten so bad that the U.S. Department of Transportation is online with a website dedicated only to distracted driving, www.distraction.gov!
The DOT calls distracted driving, “… a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways.” It’s theme is U Drive. U Text. U Pay. While the site is geared to teenagers and their parents and teachers, in our experience it’s missing the point to pick on just teens. Contractors’ pick-ups are veering into our lanes. Traffic is at a standstill when the light turns green because an adult is finishing his or her text.
And texting isn’t the only danger. Talking to a passenger, adjusting the radio, or reading a report next to you on the seat all take your eyes and mind off the road. So does eating and drinking, using your navigation system, or watching a video.
One of the most important deterrents is to listen to people who have experienced tragedy as a result of distracted driving. Click here for testimonials from all over the country from people whose loved ones have been killed or injured by distracted drivers. Or who killed themselves while texting or talking on their cell phone.
It’s heart wrenching to hear these stories of wasted lives. One of the most difficult things we have to do here at SZW Insurance is to help clients with claims involving the death of a family member or friend in a car accident. No matter where you carry your car insurance, we don’t want that to happen to you.
So please don’t drive distracted. Keep your eyes on the road. Look frequently in the rearview mirror. Anticipate the actions of other drivers and pedestrians. Remember what your driver training teacher told you? Look far ahead and place yourself in the middle of the road. And don’t speed.
And Take the Pledge
Distracted driving kills and injures thousands of people each year. I pledge to:
• Protect lives by never texting or talking on the phone while driving.
• Be a good passenger and speak out if the driver in my car is distracted.
• Encourage my friends and family to drive phone-free.
Driving is fun when you’re fully absorbed with what you’re doing. It is probably the only time in your life that multi-tasking can be deadly. Please, don’t drive distracted.
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
SZW Insurance is your New Hartford area independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.