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The avoidable dangers of texting while driving

Karns & Kerrison

People all across Rhode Island are likely aware of the growing campaigns that aim to bring an end to the somewhat recent phenomenon of people texting while driving. Though some believe that checking their messages or sending off a quick text behind the wheel is no big deal, it can actually be deadly.

Like other instances of distracted driving, texting while driving is dangerous due to the fact that it takes a person's attention away from the task at hand: safely operating their vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that over 3,000 people lost their lives to distracted driving in 2015, and the number for text-related incidents rises every year. Generally speaking, teenagers are the ones most likely to be negatively impacted by distracted driving, including texting. But that doesn't mean other age groups are exempt.

Meanwhile, the Huffington Post lists out other texting and driving-related statistics that may be shocking to drivers who think it's only a small distraction. For example, there's the possibility that out of every 4 accidents, 1 likely involved a cellphone. Drivers who check messages also tend to have their attention diverted for 5 seconds, which is 3 seconds over the "safe" amount of time someone can look away from the road. While this might not seem a lot, 5 seconds can actually cover big chunks of land if the driver is going at high speeds.

The real tragedy of accidents resulting from driving and texting is the fact that they are avoidable. In order to cut down on these incidents, it is important for everyone to understand just how much they're risking when they decide to answer that call or respond to that text.

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