Brian and Amanda Light have transformed the historic Downtown Bryan Ice House from a vacant building into a lively, bustling farm-to-table restaurant that has become a go-to spot for entertainment. That’s why the Lights, owners of Ronin Restaurant, were honored with the 2019 Mayor’s Downtown Impact Award.
Distracted driving has become a dangerous practice on our streets and highways. In the United States, 3,328 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes that involved distracted driving in 2012 alone, while an estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver according to distraction.gov. That was a nine percent increase from the estimated 387,000 people injured in 2011.
So why should you NOT text and drive?
Aside from the statistics of numbers of crashes, deaths and injuries, here are some graphics that can show you just what it is you’re doing when you choose to text and drive, why it is so dangerous, and what can be done to prevent it.
1. You’re Taking Your Eyes Off the Road
Five seconds is the minimal amount of time your attention is taken away from the road when you’re texting and driving. If you’re traveling at 55mph, then that means you will drive the length of a football field without looking at the road. As any Aggie fan knows, a lot can happen in 100 yards.
Of all the activities associated with distracted driving, sending text messages is the most dangerous. A person is 23 times more likely to have a motor vehicle crash while sending a text message, than if they were only driving. That number towers over the other activities associated with distracted driving.
2. You May Think You Can Do It … But You Can’t, Safely
- 71 percent of teens and young people say they have composed or sent SMS messages while driving according to NHTSA.gov)
- 78 percent of teens and young adults say they have read an SMS message while driving according to NHTSA.gov
A big part of the problem: People don’t think it’s a problem.
- 77 percent of young adults are very or somewhat confident that they can safely text while driving.
- 55 percent of young adult drivers claim it’s easy to text while they drive.
But it’s a big problem: Teens who text while driving spend approximately 10% of their driving time outside of their lane.
3. It’s Illegal in a Lot of Places
Texas is one of only seven states that doesn’t completely ban texting while driving, but many local jurisdictions have passed laws making it illegal in their cities. The state also has laws banning texting while driving in certain situations. Here’s a list of the state laws:
- Texas has banned the use of handheld phones and texting in school zones
- Ban on all cell phone (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
- Ban on all cell phone (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
- Ban on texting for novice drivers (Primary law)
- Ban on texting for bus drivers (Primary law)
Note: In Texas bus driver laws pertain to bus drivers with passengers age 17 and under. Novice drivers are defined as all drivers at the intermediate stage, first 12 months.
4. Hey Adults! You Have to Set the Example!
Why wouldn’t young drivers think it’s okay to text and drive? They’ve seen other people do it, perhaps even their parents. This is where adults can help educate on the dangers of distracted driving — by setting the example and taking the “it can wait” approach.
There are also many different resources for parents to help educate their kids about distracted driving. From text-free-driving pledges to drivecams that monitor a driver’s activity and provide real-time video, there are lots of ways to curb this growing epidemic.
Conclusion: It’s Dangerous! Just Don’t Do It!
For more information on the dangers of texting and driving, check out some of these websites: