It’s estimated that one in every three Americans keep their cell phone in their pocket or close by while driving. More people than ever find it acceptable to check their phone while behind the wheel.
In 2016, 81 percent of all Americans had an iPhone. Many use their smartphones to check social media and send text messages at shockingly high rates, even while driving.
According to Drive Safer, checking social media while driving can be three times more dangerous than driving intoxicated.
Increasingly, people feel they must constantly be informed in this fast paced society that we live in. We’re training to instantly respond to those sound notifications our phones make when there’s an update.
Astoundingly, despite the incredible technology social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and others have created in recent years, a feature that automatically disables the app while a person is driving has yet to be developed.
Fortunately, there are several independent apps that help prevent distracted driving.
Social media distractions occurs even while driving, when the person should be completely focused on the road. “FOMO,” or fear of missing out, is a word that was added to the dictionary in 2013 and describes a phenomenon that’s truly beginning to affect society in a negative way.
When a person receives or sends a text message, their eye comes off the road for approximately 4.6 seconds. A lot can occur in that short amount of time.
As Drive Safer says:
“To put things into perspective, traveling at 55mph in that short amount of time is the equivalent to driving the entire length of a football field, completely blind. If the 4.6 seconds it takes to send a text message can be so dangerous, imagine how much longer it takes to use social media while driving, and how much more hazardous it becomes.”
All ages, but especially teens, are likely to engage with social media while driving. Getting the perfect selfie behind the wheel, videoing how fast they are driving, or snapping a shot of the beautiful scene they just passed are temptations that must be resisted.
Distracted driving of any kind is against the law. If you were to cause an accident due to some form of distracted driving, you could be held liable. Car accident victims hurt by a negative driver may be entitled to compensation.
If a person is seriously injured or killed in a distracted driving accident, they may be able to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Mediation may be possible in some cases.