Mobile technology is taking over our world and also the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Right now, about 90% of American adults and in all likelihood a higher percent of Ocean State residents have cell phones. While these devices have done a lot to make our lives easier in Rhode Island, they have also paved the way for a huge problem such as texting while driving. Here are 8 striking facts about this issue:
1. Every time you text and drive, you score a touchdown.
Texting while driving in Rhode Island distracts you from the road for an average of five seconds. If you are driving at 55 mph (typical highway speeds), you will have driven 100 yards in that time, or the full length of a football field. If you are speeding at all, then this distance increases exponentially. It will take you about the same distance to come to a complete stop at the same speeds (assuming you are driving something smaller than a truck). To further put this into perspective, 80% of all crashes are caused by driver inattention within 3 seconds of the accident. source: http://www.textinganddrivingsafety.com/texting-and-driving-stats/
2. Statistically speaking, texting while driving in Rhode Island is more hazardous than you think
Many people think that although texting and driving can cause some accidents, it isn’t really all that dangerous. The statistics, however, say otherwise. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), texting and driving increases your risk of crashing by 2,300%.
3. Hundreds of thousands Americans text and drive every single day.
On a daily basis, 660,000 people in the US drive while using their phones. If you multiply this by the increased risk factor that we just discussed, the amount of danger that this creates becomes astronomical. source: NHTSA
“The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today released new survey results that show that Americans continue to use electronic devices while driving, despite warnings that it causes their own driving to deteriorate and can lead to crashes, injuries and even death. The new data are being released at the start of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month….”
“Today’s 2011 National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS) shows that at any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. According to separate NHTSA data, more than 3,300 people were killed in 2011 and 387,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.”http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/NHTSA+Survey+Finds+660,000+Drivers+Using+Cell+Phones+or+Manipulating+Electronic+Devices+While+Driving+At+Any+Given+Daylight+Moment
4. Many teens pick their texting and driving habits up from hypocritical adults
U.S. adults will often blame youths for the texting and driving epidemic, but they actually learn that it is okay from us. According to 77% of all teens, adults who tell them not to text, email or look at their phones while they drive, do it themselves; the same percentage of teens are fully confident in their ability to safely text and drive. The correlation between these two statistics makes it clear that adult behaviors are a primary source of this illogical reasoning by teens.
“A new survey commissioned by AT&T* as part of the “It Can Wait” campaign indicates that while 97 percent of teens know texting while driving is dangerous, 43 percent of them admit to sending a text while driving – and 75 percent say the practice is common among their friends.” Source AT & T
5. Texting while driving has caused about a quarter of all crashes
Another startling fact is how many crashes have been caused by texting while driving. On average, about a quarter of the crashes that happen every year are a direct result of texting and driving. In 2011, for example, 1.3 million of the 5.65 million crashes that occurred were caused by texting –“http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=22834&cdvn=news&newsarticleid=34435&mapcode=
6. Texting while driving is as illegal as running a red light or speeding in most states
For 39 states and the District of Columbia, texting while driving doesn’t just increase your likelihood of getting into an accident. It will also land you a ticket that comes with a hefty fine. Police officers in these states are trained to spot texters as thoroughly as they are taught to identify speeding a single car on a crowded highway. The other 11 states are either putting similar legislation into the works or seriously debating it right now.
7. The vast majority of Americans and RI residents believe that texting while driving should be illegal
As we just mentioned, texting while driving is illegal in most of the country. The narrative that has led to these laws, however, has not been driven by our concerned members of the state legislature. Instead, the ardent need to make texting while driving illegal has been pushed by the same people who do it. 89% of all Americans believe that texting, emailing, dialing, or otherwise using your phone without the aid of a hands-free device is dangerous and should be illegal.
8. Technology to actively prevent your children from texting and driving exists
If you are a parent of a young adult, then you likely hold some serious concerns about your child’s safety while on the road — especially if you are have been seen by your son or daughter texting while driving. Fortunately, you can use modern technology to actively deter your teen from texting. Here are a few of your options:
• Some cell phone carriers provide cell phone technology that prevents texting while you are moving at certain speeds
• Drivecams that provide a live stream of a teen’s driving activity
• Most smartphone markets have apps that prevent texting while driving
Safer roads in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations begin with you
As the facts discuss in this article show, texting and driving is a dangerous epidemic in this country and in RI. Unless you find a way to yank the phones out of the hands of hundreds of thousands of people every day, however, you cannot stop everyone from texting and driving. Sadly, distracted driving is a part of our society today Fortunately, there is something you can do: stop yourself from texting and driving and do not engage in distracted driving, and deter your loved ones from doing it as well.