Apparently, we still have a long way to go in order to convince all Virginia Beach residents not to text and drive. Indeed, the dangerous behavior is still prevalent on our roadways, which begs the question: How dangerous is texting-while-driving compared to drunk driving?
The fact is, texting-while-driving is six times more dangerous than drunk driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA repots that texters frequently take their eyes off the road for as long as 4.6 seconds at a time. This means that they are driving blind for almost 5 seconds. Traveling at 55 miles an hour, this is like crossing the length of a football field completely blindfolded. Are people that irresponsible?
Unfortunately, people are taking these risks every single day on the road and 3,000 people are getting killed by this irresponsible behavior every single year. Another 330,000 people are getting injured by texting while driving each year.
Virginia has created laws to prevent motorists from texting while driving. The laws help, but just like drunk driving laws, they are not enough to completely curb the behavior. Nationally, statistics relating to car accidents caused by drunk drivers have declined by 52 percent since 1982 — which is a definite success for anti-drunk driving laws and campaigns. However, car accidents caused for other reasons have risen by 78 percent. This rise could be partially due to distracted driving.
Virginia beach residents should be careful not to text and drive. Refraining from the behavior could save their lives. It could also prevent them from being held criminally and civilly liable in court for the behavior.
Source: potsdam.edu, “Driving while Texting Six Times More Dangerous than Driving while Drunk” accessed Mar. 20, 2015