Texting & Driving

by George Lovell | | 0 comments

Campaigns placing large electronic billboards with messages like "PLEASE DRIVE SAFELY" or "SIX ACCIDENTS IN 2 YEARS" on motorways seem like a reasonable intervention for reducing traffic collisions. However, evidence suggests these signs have the opposite effect. One study found they caused an additional 2,600 crashes and 16 fatalities per year in Texas alone, resulting in a social cost of $377 million annually. The bigger the sign, the more distracting it is, and the more crashes there are. How ironic.

May be an image of car, road and text

Even nature's trying to kill us. One study found a 5.32% increase in motorcycle fatalities during full moon nights.

If a big sign or a full moon are adequately distracting to send you through the barrier, then what magnitude of effect could reading your emails, subbing Declan Rice out of your fantasy team, or checking your Tinder matches (still none) have on your driving?

In the UK, 22 people were killed and 674 injured in road traffic collisions in 2022 alone. And that doesn't include all the people who "swerved to avoid hitting a deer". In the US, it causes over 400 deaths per year. A survey found that 93% of drivers acknowledged the dangers of texting or emailing while driving. Yet, 37% admitted to reading and 27% to typing a text or email while driving in the previous month. There's a bit of cognitive dissonance going on here.

Researchers suggest that texting while driving can impair your reaction time as severely as having four beers before driving. That's assuming they're a Lightweight.

The "hangover effect" is a phenomenon whereby drivers take up to 27 seconds to properly reorient their focus back on the road. Despite what she tells you, a lot can happen in 27 seconds.

Remember, using your phone for navigation, answering calls, and changing music is allowed if it's mounted in a cradle on the dashboard or windscreen. It's the looking down and back up, or reading, watching, and typing that gets ya. That's why we sell quality car phone holders. I wonder how many lives we've saved...

As for the huge built-in iPads everyone has in their fancy electric cars these days, who knows what's going on with them...

So next time you're bored sat in traffic on the M5, try to resist the overwhelming compulsion to pull up Instagram. Instead, do what we used to do back in the day: play a game of I spy with my little eye. Hours of safe, legal fun guaranteed.

Thanks for reading!

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