Texting is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, texting while driving is a pervasive problem that causes collisions and costs lives. The way we communicate with others has changed significantly over the past two decades. We no longer have to wait until we get home to make a call. The pay phone booths that once lined every corner are now a thing of the past. And even though cell phones give us the ability to make a call anywhere at any time, that trend is slowly declining as well. With communication stats showing over 8 trillion texts being sent each year, it’s mind-blowing to think how texting has become a huge part of our everyday existence. We text at our desks, on our couches, and even while walking. Because texting is a daily activity for most people, many people carry this habit into their vehicles and continue texting while driving. This dangerous choice can have devastating consequences, leading to tickets, accidents, costly body shop repairs, and even fatalities.
Texting While Driving Statistics
A majority of states have passed laws making texting while driving illegal, but that doesn’t stop drivers from sending messages while behind the wheel. It’s no wonder that many Arizona auto body shops have seen an increase in repairs related to driving while texting. Arizona is one of the few states that does not ban texting while driving, although certain cities have passed ordinances that require you to be ‘hands-free’ and new drivers aren’t allowed to text. But let’s be clear, ‘legal’ doesn’t mean safe. Whether there is a law prohibiting texting while driving in your area or not, the dangers of doing so should be enough to steer you away.
According to DMV.org, texting and other distracted driving habits cause:
- 1.9 million accidents
- Over 3,000 deaths each year
- At least 3,200 fatal crashes
- 390,000 injuries annually
And it’s not just those who are texting while driving that are hurt in the types of accidents that occur from this behavior, but innocent travelers and bystanders.
Driving While Texting Fatalities
One auto body shop owner tells the story of a 2017 accident he witnessed involving a pickup truck and a church minibus. The operator of the truck, a 20-year-old male, was reported to police by a concerned driver who noticed him crossing the center line several times. Crossing the center line once more, the young driver, who was texting collided head-on with the minibus killing 13 people inside. Only two people were able to survive the crash, one being the driver. He was later charged with manslaughter.
But it’s not just teenagers who are guilty of texting while driving. Just this year, an Ohio mother was sentenced to 6 years in prison after her distracted driving caused her to drive over the shoulder of the road and strike three middle-schoolers. Although the driver tried to get out of the vehicle and help the teens, she was not able to save them. Two of the three teens died and the other received life-threatening injuries. Texting while driving was determined to be the cause of this accident.
What Can Be Done
Although states cracking down those texting while driving is important, it is essential that we individually do our part to stop this dangerous habit of claiming more lives. After all, making the road a safer place is the responsibility of all citizens. Because Orlando Auto body has noticed and is concerned about an increase in driving while texting related repairs, we suggest:
- Completely shut your phone off before driving or place it in your glove box (out of sigh
- Turn your cell phone on silent before you get behind the wheel so that you’re not tempted to read or respond to a text.
- Download an app that prevents texting while driving and install it on the phone of your teen drivers.
- Spread the word about the dangers of texting while driving and encourage others to avoid it as well.
If you are someone you know are unfortunate enough to be involved in a collision, regardless of fault, reach out to Orlando Auto Body at 480-351-1734 so that we can assist you in making repairs.