“Is it really that dangerous?”
“Everyone does it”
These are common refrains we hear when it comes to DWT (Driving while texting). Perhaps some statistics can shed some light on just how dangerous DWT really is.
The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration has found that that DWT makes one six times more likely to be involved in an accident than driving while intoxicated. Studies have shown that drivers who text while driving have more accidents and slower reaction times than drivers whose blood alcohol level is above the legal limit.
“But my eyes are still on the road”…are they really?
Several studies have revealed that a driver’s reaction time when just talking on a cell phone is reduced by approximately 20% and is therefore significantly more likely to be involved in a rear end collision, even with the driver’s eyes completely fixed on the road. This can be attributed to “inattention blindness,” which suggests that cognitive distraction or preoccupation with cell phone usage decreases a driver’s awareness of important information necessary for driving.
Now, let’s consider the danger of taking your eyes off the road to read or write an email or text while driving. In general, a vehicle travels approximately 1.47 feet per second at one mile per hour. An average individual spends approximately 5 seconds looking down while reading or writing an email or text. Imagine an individual is driving down a local street in Bergen County at 35 mph, while looking down and texting, that individual will have traveled approximately 257 feet while virtually blind. Now, envision that same individual driving on Route 4 at 55 mph and looking down to check or send a text message. That person will have traveled 404 feet—more than an entire football field plus both end zones. Other than Jets quarterbacks, who in their right mind would drive “blind” the length of a football field?
Summer is here, the weather is nice, which means more children are out playing on our streets. We are all very busy and have “urgent” e-mails and text messages that “must” be replied to asap. However, there is no email or text message that is more important than or takes precedence over the safety of our children. Put your phone down, out of your reach while you are driving. Your employer/spouse/child/friend will understand. All it takes is one incident to change your life, as well as, the life of your victim.
Our firm has represented numerous individuals who have suffered catastrophic injuries and whose lives have been changed forever, due to the carelessness and recklessness of drivers who just made that one mistake of driving while texting.
DRIVE SAFE AND DON’T DWT!
Ross B. Rothenberg and Marc J. Rothenberg reside in Bergen County. They, along with four of their siblings and both parents, are partners and trial attorneys at the Rothenberg Law Firm LLP. They can be reached at Ross_InjuryLawer.com and Marc_InjuryLawyer.com or 800-257-4878.
By Ross Rothenberg