Driving while Texting

Ok, so you're at a party and your best friend has had about four drinks too many. She can barely speak coherently, let alone walk in a straight line, but she's gotten it into her head that she wants to drive home. You, caring about her continued life and well-being, are of course going to stop this from happening, right?

We all know that friends should never let friends drive drunk, and many of us feel strongly enough about that situation to step in and stop an alcohol-related crash before it can get started. So what's up with the fact that so many of us are perfectly willing to sit by and say nothing while our friends text and drive, even when we're the passenger?

I know, I know, we've all been guilty of texting and driving at some point. We all know that it's a little bit dangerous, but it's become so much a part of our driving culture that it doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I mean, it's just a quick glance down to key in a few letters, right?

Recent studies suggest that driving while texting (DWT) can actually be more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol. Car and Driver Magazine recently released a study stating that texting while driving can add an extra 70 feet of distance to a driver's braking reaction, deteriorating reaction time by up to 30%. The University of Utah states that a driver engaging in texting is six times more likely to get in a wreck than one focusing on driving.

The road is an uncertain place. Other drivers swerving or braking suddenly, obstacles on the road, intense weather, wild animals... A lot of times the difference between a horrible crash and getting where you're going safely is a split second course correction or hitting the brakes at just the right instant. If you or your friends are too busy punching in that ever so important LOL ;), your odds of being able to protect yourself, your passengers, and the people around you take a huge plunge.

Next time you're riding with someone and they pull out their phone, just think about that a little bit. What is that extra 70 feet of reaction distance going to mean to you and your bestie if another distracted driver swerves out in front of you? Don't let the people you care about put themselves and you in danger – say something.