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How fast a single text travels when you’re behind the wheel

On Behalf of | May 29, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

People sometimes act like distracted driving — sending a text, for instance — isn’t a big deal because they’re so fast when they do it. They know that they shouldn’t stay on the phone, browsing social media, for the entire drive. They’ve seen other drivers do that, and they know it’s unsafe. But is it really that dangerous to send one text message? They may act like it is not. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not agree, though. They note that a single text tends to take roughly five seconds. You’re not just glancing down for a heartbeat. You’re looking away from the road for a significant amount of time. 

If you’re driving at about 55 miles per hour, which is the legal limit on most state roads, that means that you cover about 100 yards in five seconds. That’s an easy distance to picture because it’s the same size as a football field. If you’ve ever been to a game or watched one on TV, just imagine driving the entire distance while looking at your phone. 

The real reason that people often think they can text fast enough to be safe is that they just do not have this mental picture and they don’t think about how far they really travel. Put in this perspective, it’s easy to see why you need to put the phone away and keep your eyes on the road. 

Of course, as you know from your daily commute, you’re surrounded by drivers who keep on taking these types of risks. If you get injured in an accident, you may have a right to compensation for your losses. An attorney can help you understand what you need to do next.