We all know we shouldn’t do it, and most of us don’t, but for some people the temptation to text while driving is just too much to overcome.
We see a lot of patients in our office that come to us because of injuries they’ve sustained in an auto accidents. It’s safe to assume that many of them could have avoided the collision altogether if they would have just kept their phones off. According to www.textinganddrivingsafety.com, 23% of all auto collisions in 2011 involved cell phones. If you’re sending a text, the MINIMUM amount of time it takes is 5 seconds. At 55mph, you could travel the entire length of a football field before looking up to see where you are on the road.
It’s no secret that texting and driving is dangerous, so why do some people still do it?
The reason has to do with texting’s effects on the brain. You may not know it, but the sound that a text or Facebook notification makes on your phone releases feel-good chemicals in your brain. It activates the same pleasure centers of the brain that are activated when using cocaine!
That’s why people still do it – they are literally addicted.
Another interesting thing about our brains is that they are not fully developed until about our mid-twenties. One of the hallmark signs of a fully developed brain is the ability to plan ahead and exhibit impulse control. That’s one reason that teens are especially susceptible to texting and driving. They literally can’t help themselves.
The best way to avoid texting and driving is to silence your phone and put it where you can’t reach it.
That eliminates the sound of a text or notification (and thus the brain’s reaction) and puts the phone out of sight.
Parents, you don’t hesitate to talk with your kids about other potentially dangerous activities – don’t neglect to talk with your kids about texting and driving, too.