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Traffic Tip: Texting while driving is driving blind for 5 seconds

By By David Brogger
April 14, 2013 at 11:03 p.m.
Updated April 13, 2013 at 11:14 p.m.


This week's traffic tip is in regards to using a cellphone while driving.

While monitoring traffic in my patrol unit or simply driving down the road in my personal vehicle, I see people texting on their cellphones while driving all too often.

It's very frustrating for me because there is no state law preventing this as of now unless it is done in an active school zone.

So, until a law is passed prohibiting this, I did some research that revealed some alarming statistics that will hopefully curb people's urge to text while driving.

There are many more statistics and some good reads on the website textinganddrivingsafety.com, if you care to look it up.

Also located on this website is an app for cellphones that will prevent them from being able to text while driving.

Texting while driving is a growing trend and a national epidemic, quickly becoming one of the country's top killers. Drivers assume they can handle texting while driving and remain safe, but the numbers don't lie.

Texting while driving causes:

1.6 million accidents per year - National Safety Council

330,000 injuries per year - Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study

11 teen deaths every day - Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Fatality Facts

Nearly 25 percent of all car accidents - Texting and Driving Safely's website.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, texting while driving is:

About six times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated

The same as driving after four beers

The No. 1 driving distraction reported by teen drivers.

Texting while driving:

Makes you 23 times more likely to crash - National Highway Transportation Safety Administration

Is the same as driving blind for five seconds at a time - Virginia Tech Transportation Institute

Takes place by 800,000 drivers at any given time across the country

Slows your brake reaction speed by 18 percent - Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

Leads to a 400 percent increase in time spent with eyes off the road - Texting and Driving Safely's website.

The Victoria Police Department Traffic Safety Unit invites citizens to inform us of any traffic issues that you observe. The easiest way to do this is go to our website, victoriapd.com, then go to the VPD Customer Service Request tab in the center of the page and follow the directions.

If you have a traffic law question, contact Senior Police Officer David Brogger, Victoria Police Department Traffic Safety Unit, 361-485-3700.

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