How texting increases car accident risks

When a Massachusetts driver gets behind the wheel of a car, he or she is taking on a number of responsibilities. Each of us is responsible for the safety of ourselves, our passengers, and those with whom we share the road. While most drivers would never consider getting behind the wheel after drinking, many find no problem with texting while driving. In reality, however, both of these choices can lead to an increased risk of becoming involved in a car accident.

Recent research suggests that, even when drivers are aware of the risks of texting while driving, they choose to do so anyway. When asked why, respondents stated that they felt anxious when they did not immediately read or respond to an incoming message. Others felt that they were expected to reply in a timely manner, and that they experienced a sense of satisfaction when receiving or reading a message.

The survey included just over 1,000 adults, all of whom drive almost daily and who text at least once a day. Of those, 98 percent were aware of the risks associated with texting and driving. That said, two-thirds reported having read or sent text messages while at a stop light, and a quarter of those asked reported sending texts while driving.

There are only so many tasks that the human brain can handle at one time, and research shows that adding multiple items to one's concentration will decrease the performance of virtually any task that an individual is asked to perform. Driving while texting is a perfect example of the type of distraction that increases the risk of becoming involved in a serious car accident. For those in Massachusetts who are injured by a distracted driver, the devastation caused may be no less than that brought about by a drunk driver. In many cases, a personal injury lawsuit can help victims recover damages brought on by this irresponsible behavior.

Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, "Survey finds people text and drive knowing dangers", Barbara Ortutay, Nov. 4, 2014

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