Are you tempted like I am? I’ll be driving home from work and thinking to myself – “I could easily send off this text and at least find out where my wife is and whether or not I should stop and get milk. And if I have to get milk, it’d be easier than getting all the way home and then having to go out again.”
Then – BAM! – I slam on the brakes as the red lights on the car in front of me get closer and brighter.
“Perhaps it’s better to pull off the road and just call.”
Texting & Driving Statistics
We all know texting while driving isn’t safe. However, for the sake of our ministries and for the sake of our families, it’s important that we know how unsafe it really is.
It’s not just you who is affected by texting:
- 3,328 – That’s the number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes in 2012. Another 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes with a distracted driver.
Putting down your phone doesn’t mean others do – being alert is critical because:
- At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA)
Reading a text is the equivalent to driving blind for 100 yards. Imagine what could happen in that amount of time and space.
- Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent, at 55 mph, of driving the length of an entire football field, blind. (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute or VTTI)
Knowing these statistics, how should we proceed?
What to Do
- Wait. Honestly, it can wait.
- If it can’t wait, pull off to the side of the road.
- If you’re still having problems, turn your phone off while driving.
- Get there safely.
The vocation into which God has placed you has much greater impact if you arrive at your destination safe, healthy, and alive.
Featured image courtesy: Lord Jim via Flickr