How many times have you been driving along when your phone beeped at you? Maybe it’s a message from that Seattle girl you asked on a date? Perhaps it’s a job offer from the interview you had? What if it is your mom and she has fallen in her kitchen and may bleed to death if you don’t answer right now?
You grab the phone and swipe to the message. It’s a cat video from your friend, and it’s not even funny. You select the angry face emoji, press send and put the phone back in the holder. You look around and wonder why the road seems unfamiliar. Then you realize you have missed your turn.
If the worst that happens when using your phone while driving is passing your turn, think yourself lucky. It could be a lot worse; distracted driving can be fatal. According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA), 2,841 people died in 2018 due to distracted drivers. While 1,730 were the drivers themselves, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians and 77 cyclists also died. Many more people were injured.
Reading or sending a text takes five seconds on average, according to the NHTSA. The next time you are driving, try counting five seconds and see how far you travel. See how much you notice going on around you in those five seconds. Do this on your local residential streets and do it on interstate highways. It will give you an idea of just how vital it is to avoid using your phone when driving.
If you are in a Seattle car crash caused by someone else, seek legal help to claim compensation. You may discover the other driver was distracted by their phone.