Distracted driving is dangerous, and yet people still do it. People are almost universally aware of how dangerous is to text at the wheel. According to a survey by a mobile phone company, 98% of the drivers polled agreed that driving and texting at the same time was a recipe for danger.
However, that doesn't mean that 98% of people driving have chosen not to text at the wheel. That very same survey showed that a frightening number of individuals are still choosing to text while they drive. Although the study in question is a few years old, it is a startling wake-up call for most people.
The average driver probably assumes most people do not engage in texting at the wheel. In reality, the exact opposite is likely true. You probably cross paths with dozens of people whose hands, eyes and minds are focused on their phones and not the road every time you drive.
Roughly 75% of people admit to texting at the wheel
Given that almost 100% of the people polled knew that texting and driving isn't safe, you would think that a much smaller percentage would admit to engaging in the dangerous practice of distracted driving. That said, roughly three-quarters of the people responding to the poll admitted that they texted when they drove.
Two-thirds of the people involved in the poll admitted to using their phones while stopped at red lights or four-way stops. About a quarter of them admitted to actively texting while driving. Both practices are dangerous, although obviously there is an increased risk for the individual who is speeding down the road while texting, as opposed to the person who texts while they stop.
However, even texting while you stop can lead to mental distraction. In fact, just hearing your cellphone go off can distract you. In other words, your cellphone is a constant threat in the car.
Turn off your ringer and hold distracted drivers accountable
The best thing you can do to reduce your risk of causing a distracted driving crash yourself is to turn the ringer off on your phone and place it somewhere in which you can't see or hear it while you drive. If you absolutely need to know what messages come in, you should either look into a system that reads your text messages to you in your vehicle or have a friend or family member monitor your phone for you.
Even if you are very safe at the wheel, you can still wind up involved in a distracted driving crash caused by someone else who can't keep their hands off their phone. In that situation, you can potentially hold that driver accountable for any property damages or injuries they cause in the crash.