Texting and driving is potentially deadly. The use of mobile devices has been shown to account for more distracted driving car accidents and near-accidents than any other distraction. It’s also illegal in Illinois.
When you’re texting, you take your eyes off the road for a significant length of time. Five seconds at 55 mph, your car will travel the length of a football field in that time. At 35 mph, you will travel almost the length of a typical city block in Chicago. Even going only 20 mph you will travel almost 150 feet, more than 10 car lengths. That’s a long distance to travel in your neighborhood, where kids and pets may be running into the street and people pulling out of obstructed driveways.
Texting and driving can put you at serious risk of a car accident or a car-pedestrian accident. Here are some tips to avoid texting and driving accidents.
Avoid Texting and Driving Accidents as a Driver
The best way to avoid texting and driving accidents is to just not text and drive. Not ever. If you have trouble resisting the temptation, put your phone out of reach. Put it in a bag, your glove compartment, or the backseat. Turn it off while you’re driving. If you absolutely have to stay in contact, pull over and do your texting. If you have a passenger, hand it over to them.
Avoid Texting and Driving Accidents as a Passenger
Passengers can also help avoid texting and driving accidents. When you’re in another person’s car, etiquette typically demands respect and deference, but this is an occasion where you may have to be brusque. If the driver is starting to text, first offer to help them. If you can’t help, remind them that texting and driving is illegal in Illinois. Ask them to pull over. If reasonable, you might also offer to drive.
Texting and driving is illegal and significantly increases your risk of car accidents. It should be avoided at all costs.