Most drivers know texting and driving is dangerous. Even the ones who do it know that it’s risky. The general rationale, for many of them, is that they think they can do it fast enough to stay safe. They think: “I’ll just look down for a second; I need to answer this.”
But does that line of thinking hold true? First and foremost, even looking down for literally one second is dangerous. There is no amount of time that it is safe to look away from the road. The best drivers are the ones who have their eyes on the road in front of them or on their mirrors at all times.
On top of that, most text messages take longer than people realize. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that the average is five seconds. And yes, that is just the average. This means that, for every driver who actually looks down for only a second, you have others taking nine or 10 seconds to look at the phone.
How much can change in five seconds? Everything. You could blindly drive the distance of a football field. In that time, someone ahead of you could hit their brakes, you could drift off of the shoulder or into the oncoming lanes, a child could run into the road or a whole host of other issues could crop up. Even if you don’t crash while looking down, it severely impairs your reaction times.
Now, perhaps this has been eye-opening, and you will never text and drive again. That’s a start but remember that other drivers still do it all the time. If one of them injures you in an accident, you may need to seek compensation for medical bills and other costs.