Today, many of the news reports we see involving serious or fatal automobile accidents are caused by driver distraction. More specifically, a growing number of these traffic crashes are caused by texting and driving. While Florida lawmakers work to strengthen the existing secondary ban on texting while driving, it continues to a major contributor to auto accidents. Even in other states where texting while driving has been banned as a primary traffic offense, texting still sometimes contributes to catastrophic automobile accidents.
Texting while driving is among the leading forms of driver distraction which contributes to serious motor vehicle crashes. Texting while driving is now the leading cause of traffic fatalities among teenage drivers and passengers. A recent study has also revealed that teenage girls are more likely to text while driving than boys.
A distracted driver whose focus is away from the road for even a split second faces much greater odds of colliding with another vehicle, a motorcycle, a bicyclist or even a pedestrian. Simply reading a text message takes at least 5 full seconds of a driver’s attention away from the road.
According to the CDC, driver distraction is broken down into three different categories:
Alarmingly, texting while driving can potentially involve all three types of distraction at once –making it among the most dangerous types of driver distraction. A driver must take his/her eyes away from the road to read a message, he/she uses cognitive processes to read and process the text message, and the driver may also be manually distracted by clicking a key to read the message or by typing a reply to the text message.