Why is texting and driving so dangerous?

Texting is one of the most dangerous types of distracted driving because it combines visual, manual and cognitive distraction.

When drivers in Kentucky get behind the wheel of a car, many make the decision to pull out their cellphone and text, which is an action that endangers and injures thousands on a daily basis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day in the U.S., over 1,000 people are killed in car accidents involving a distracted driver and nine people are killed in distracted driving-related collisions.

The three types of distraction

Texting is not the only type of distracted driving, and all forms of distraction can be divided into three main categories:

  • Cognitive distraction--This type of distraction occurs when a driver stops thinking about driving. For example, drivers who focus on a conversation they are having with a passenger are cognitively distracted.
  • Manual distraction--Drivers who remove their hands from the steering wheel are manually distracted. For instance, drivers who reach for something on the back seat of their car are manually distracted.
  • Visual distraction--This type of distraction happens when drivers remove their eyes from the road in front of them. Drivers, for example, who look at a GPS device to get directions are visually distracted.

However, texting and driving is one of the most dangerous types of distracted driving because it combines cognitive, manual and visual distraction.

Why people still text and drive

Even though many people realize that texting and driving is hazardous to others, many continue to participate in this activity anyway. In a study sponsored by AT&T, over 90 percent of the frequent drivers who participated reported they knew texting and driving was dangerous, but they did it anyway. One of the main justifications for this behavior was a belief that they could successfully multitask.

To prevent drivers from texting behind the wheel, the state of Kentucky, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, made it illegal for drivers of all ages to text behind the wheel in 2010. However, drivers over the age of 18 are allowed to use a GPS while driving to get directions and read, select or enter a telephone number in their phone if they need to make a call.

Reach out to an attorney

Despite these laws aimed at reducing distracted driving accidents, many people in Kentucky are injured or killed in distracted driving-related accidents every day. Victims of a distracted driving accident should contact an attorney in their area for assistance asserting their legal rights to fair and proper compensation.