We’ve written before about the dangers of texting and driving, especially in the wake of Florida’s strict new texting and driving law. But, did you know that science actually has a simple explanation for why this activity is so hazardous? Our Florida car accident attorneys explain.
The Types of Distracted Driving
Texting and driving falls under the umbrella of distracted driving, which also includes activities like eating, reading, and putting on makeup behind the wheel.
Distracted driving is grouped into three categories:
- Visual (taking your eyes off the road)
- Manual (taking your hands off your steering wheel)
- Cognitive (taking your mind off driving)
Most types of distracted driving only consist of one or two of these categories. For example, looking at your GPS would be a visual distraction. Fuming about a rude thing someone said to you is a cognitive distraction. Changing the radio station usually involves both manual (reaching over to adjust the knob) and visual (glancing at the console) distractions.
Texting and driving is such a dangerous combination because it involves all three types of distractions.
To send a text, you have to look down at your phone for an extended period (visual), read the previous text and/or think about what you want to say in return (cognitive), and type your response (manual). Even doing this for a few seconds can amount to covering an entire football field of road (100 yards) totally blind.
The next time you consider sending a text while driving, remind yourself it can wait. If you’re on a long drive or the text is urgent, simply find a safe place to pull over and send your text once your car is in park. Even an important message isn’t worth dying over.