There are many different causes for the number of car accidents that happen every year. There is drunk driving, driving while fatigued, speeding, reckless driving, and more. However, one of the more common causes is distracted driving. This is when the driver is not giving their full attention to the task of operating their vehicle. And one of the more pernicious forms of distracted driving is texting while driving. That is because it requires the driver to take their eyes off the road and one hand off the wheel. Either of those actions is bad enough but they are even worse when combined.

This is one of the worst accident types because of how dangerous it is for everyone on the road. That is why it is important that this kind of behavior be eradicated completely. There are ways to avoid this behavior for people who might be tempted to engage in that kind of activity. This is not just good for the safety of everyone else on the road, it is good for the driver as well. If they cause an accident because they were texting while driving, then they will be held liable and their insurance company will have to pay for the damages of the other driver. They could even face a lawsuit. So follow these tips to avoid texting and driving in order to keep yourself— and everyone else on the road— safe.

Why Texting and Driving is Dangerous

Texting while driving is a dangerous activity because it combines three different types of driving distractions into one action. Those distractions are as follows:

Manual Distraction – This is when the driver removes one hand from the wheel so that they can use it for something else. Aside from texting, other manual distractions include personal grooming and eating or drinking.

Visual Distraction – This happens when a person takes their eyes off the road in order to concentrate on a different task. Besides texting, a visual distraction could be the driver intently fiddling with the dashboard, looking for something in the glovebox, or simply staring at something out of one of the side windows.

Cognitive Distraction – When the driver is not concentrating on the task of operating their vehicle, it is called a cognitive distraction. This can easily happen if there is a passenger in the car that the driver is speaking to or if they are simply lost in thought.

When someone is texting while driving they are under the influence of all three of these distractions. That means their reaction time is drastically slowed down so they cannot react quickly to any sudden changes in the conditions on the road. That is one of the reasons why some experts say that texting and driving is worse than driving drunk.

How to Avoid Texting While Driving

It would seem that avoiding texting while driving is easy: just don’t do it. However, many people find the temptation to answer a buzzing phone hard to ignore, plus many people might feel that the text is highly important. But once you get behind the wheel, there is no task more important than driving the vehicle in a safe and attentive manner. So with that in mind, here are some tips that can make it easier to avoid texting while driving.

• Turn off your cell phone or set it to silent mode or do not disturb mode.

• Put your phone in a place where you can’t reach it and, preferably, can’t even see it, such as in the passenger seat behind the driver’s seat, in the glovebox, or even in the trunk.

• Download one of the many completely free apps that prevent you from texting while driving.

These are all simple solutions, but they are very effective in preventing the temptation to text while driving. Any one of them will do, but those with strong compulsions might try using at least two of those tips to prevent the temptation to use their phone.

Prevent Accidents: Do Not Text and Drive

Texting while driving is not only an extremely dangerous habit, it is also illegal in many states. So not only do you run the risk of causing an accident, you could also get a traffic ticket and have to pay a fine. Texting while driving is simply not worth the risk because no text is more important than a person’s life. So when you get behind the wheel, make sure to put down the phone, for your sake and everyone else on the road.