Texting Behind the Wheel
It’s fairly safe to say that most people are ware that using a mobile phone while driving is dangerous and severely impairs your ability to drive safely. What few people are aware of however is how much texting while driving slows your reaction times.
Reaction Times for Different Activities
- Alcohol 13% Slower
- Cannabis 21% Slower
- Talking (Hands Free) 27% Slower
- Texting 37% Slower
- Talking (Handheld) 46% Slower
The dangers are plain to see and are indeed borne out by the accidents we see involving the different activities.
It is in some regards surprising to see texting rank lower than handheld talking, because with the rapid refocusing your eyes need to do to read and write a text while driving it’s almost a wonder everyone attempting it doesn’t crash.
The maximum penalty for texting and driving is death, but more commonly 3 penalty points and a £100 fine. We interviewed Emma Patterson from Patterson Law, who explained that while UK courts no longer impose the death penalty, there is a valid argument that you do that yourself when writing a text as you drive along.
As police numbers have fallen by 20% in the past decade, so mobile phone offences have fallen, but this is considered to be because there are less policemen on duty to catch them and speed cameras can’t do the job instead.
Does this mean that texting and driving is becoming an epidemic?
It certainly could be, with more and more drivers now flouting the law, knowing that there is not much chance of them getting caught.
Courts are getting tougher on driver that cause accidents while using their mobile phones and it is standard practice to check your phone records following an accident in order to establish the cause.