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Despite knowing the dangers, students still text and drive

There is a long list of distractions that cause problems for drivers, but texting is one of the most troublesome. The results of a 2013 study confirmed that college students continue the practice even though they know texting while driving is dangerous.

There are three main types of distraction. The reason that texting is so dangerous and the cause of so many vehicle crashes is because it is an activity that involves all three.

More dangerous than drinking

Texting surpasses drunk driving as the chief cause of teenage vehicle crash fatalities according to a 2013 study released by the Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York. Therefore, that three-quarters of college students text while driving is not an altogether surprising statistic as revealed through a study conducted by King’s College in Pennsylvania. Their “need to be connected” partly accounts for the popularity of this risky activity among young drivers.

Distraction comes in threes

Anything that takes your attention away from your responsibility as a driver is rightly called a distraction. In addition to texting or using a handheld cell phone and punching the buttons to answer or to make a call, you might be eating or drinking, adjusting the radio, talking to a passenger or twisting to look at your child in the back seat. You have probably seen drivers who are applying makeup, combing their hair or even reading. The main types of distraction are:

  •         Manual, which means taking the hands off the wheel
  •         Visual, or taking the eyes from the road
  •         Cognitive, which involves taking the mind away from driving

The football field comparison

Texting involves all three kinds of distraction. In fact, when you read or send a text message, your eyes will be off the road for about five seconds. At a speed of 55 miles per hour, this is enough time for your vehicle to travel the length of a football field. It is more than enough time to cause a serious crash, which can happen in the blink of an eye. If you happen to be a teen or college student, keep in mind that in the United states, more than 1,000 people suffer injuries — and nine people die — in car crashes involving a distracted driver. Refrain from joining this crowd.

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