Why you should stop texting while driving

Are you guilty of texting while driving?

It’s tempting, we know. Sometimes you’re in the middle of a conversation with someone when you hit the road, or you REALLY need to answer someone’s question and don’t have the option to pull over. Either way, we know how easy it can seem to just pick up the phone and type out a quick text. However, Toyota of Orlando is here to tell you exactly why you shouldn’t give in to the temptation.

Toyota of Orlando tips

Why is texting and driving so dangerous?

First of all, texting while driving in the state of Florida is against the law. The bill was formally passed on July 1, 2019, and it details that “A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers or symbols into a wireless communications device to text, email and instant message”. Here are the penalties you can incur for texting while driving:

  • First offense: You’ll get a non-moving traffic violation with a $30 fine and no points on your license.
  • Second offense: You’ll get a moving traffic violation with a $60 fine and 3 points on your license.
  • Any offense in a work zone or school zone: You’ll get a moving traffic violation with a $60 fine and 3 points on your license.

Fast facts from Toyota of Orlando

And none of those costs include court costs or potential other fees. But not only could you be racking up points on your license and finding yourself doing damage to your bank account, you could also put yourself AND everyone else out on the road in danger. Here are some fast facts about just how dangerous texting while driving can be:

  • In 2017 alone, 3,166 people were killed by distracted driving – that’s 8.5% of all traffic fatalities that year.
  • Approximately 9 people are killed and 1,000 people injured every single day by a distracted driver.
  • Sending or reading a text takes a driver 5 seconds on average, which means their eyes are off the roads for 5 seconds. It may not seem like much, but you can travel the distance of a football field in this time period depending on your speed. That’s a long distance to not be looking for road hazards and observing the behavior of other vehicles on the road.
  • Texting while driving results in a 400% increase of the time your eyes are off the road
  • Teen drivers that text while driving swerve out of their lane about 10% of their total drive time.
  • Texting while you’re behind the wheel ups your chances of getting into an accident 23x.

Remember – texting or typing into your phone while you’re in the driver’s seat encompasses all three types of distracted driving. It takes your eyes off the road (visual), your hands off the wheel (manual), and your mind off of driving (cognitive). It’s the ultimate type of distracted driving and makes the roads exceptionally dangerous for you, your passengers, and everyone around you.

All in all, this bad driving habit can be costly and dangerous. Don’t do it! If you feel the need to use your phone for something that can’t be done hands-free (like using Bluetooth in your Orlando Toyota to make a call), then pull over into a parking lot to take care of it. And for more tips, call Toyota of Orlando. We’re here 7 days a week at (407) 298-4500.