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Why shouldn't I text while driving?

Texting and driving is a dangerous trend and it's leading to life-altering injuries and death. This year there have been an estimated 948,866 crashes involving drivers using cell phones and texting.

Did you know that texting while driving is to blame for...

  • 1,600,000 accidents per year – National Safety Council
  • 330,000 injuries per year – Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study
  • 11 teen deaths every day – Institute for Highway Safety Fatality Facts

Did you know that texting while driving...

  • Makes you 23 times more likely to be in an accident – National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
  • Is the same as driving blind for 5 seconds at a time, that's like traveling the length of a football field while going 55 miles per hour. – Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
  • Slows your brake reaction speed by 18% – Human Factors & Ergonomics Society

So what can you do to ensure your safety?

  • Lock that phone in the trunk or glove compartment. This may be somewhat Piagetian, but out of sight, out of mind.
  • If you aren't going to put it away, then pull off the road and park the car before responding.
  • Still have the urge? Then there are some Smartphone apps to help.

I hope that we all agree that too many lives have been lost due to the negligence of texting and driving. Nothing is more important than the gift of life. No text is worth endangering yourself or another human being. So no matter how often your phone vibrates when you're operating a vehicle...it can wait.

Jill A. Grimes, MD
Family Medicine

You should not text on your cell phone while driving because being distracted by texting is similar to driving while intoxicated. Texting on the phone while driving can cause you to react more slowly when an unexpected driving hazard emerges or perhaps to never see the hazard until it’s too late.
More and more studies are showing the dangers inherent with this distraction.

When teens are learning to drive, they are encouraged to put their phones in their backpacks or purses, and then place those items in the back seat. Everyone should all follow that advice. Move your cell phone to the trunk if you need to, but remove the temptation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.