Even though it feels comforting to maintain constant communication with your closest loved ones, the impulse to pick up your phone while at the wheel of a vehicle is a dangerous one. A large number of collisions occur because people handle their phones instead of staying focused on the road.
Most drivers recognize the importance of keeping their hands on the wheel and their phones, but many people choose to bend the rules because they think that they have a system, trick or life hack that allows them to safely use their phone while they drive.
Unfortunately for everybody out on the modern roads, there are no tricks that allow someone to text at the wheel without increasing everybody’s collision risk.
Texting at stoplights doesn’t work
Some people will only pick up their phones when stopped at a red light. They figure they can set the phone back down as soon as the light turns green and therefore avoid any serious risk.
However, research has shown that it takes your brain a bit of time to refocus on driving after you look at a screen. In fact, the average person won’t be fully attentive to the road in front of them for 27 seconds after they handle their mobile device.
Talk-to-text doesn’t reduce your risk either
There are multiple different apps that allow you to talk out a text message or email instead of manually typing the words. However, research shows that these programs aren’t particularly safe either. Individuals dictating messages tend to glance at their phones repeatedly, which could potentially be the difference between them causing a crash or responding appropriately to changing traffic conditions.
The only real way to avoid phone-related distraction while driving is to turn a phone to silent and place it somewhere that you won’t notice the screen lighting up due to incoming messages. Otherwise, even if a driver overcomes the temptation to reach for their phone, they will still experience cognitive distraction, which can be just as dangerous.
Understanding that you truly do need to avoid handling or thinking about your phone while driving can help you avoid being the one to blame for a motor vehicle collision.