Your cell phone rings or notifies you of a new text message while you are driving. You ignore it because you are a safe, responsible driver. Soon you come to a red light and decide to check your phone while you wait.
While this may seem like a wise and safe decision, checking your phone while at a red light can distract you when you start driving again. It may lessen your ability to avoid an accident. Even worse, distracted driving can increase the likelihood that you cause a crash.
Distracted driving is dangerous
By now, everyone knows that you should not text and drive. Many cars have technology that will allow you to complete hands-free voice calls without looking away from the road. Distracted driving is any activity that diverts your attention from driving. Yes, even while stopped at a red light. If you are looking at your phone, you are no longer fully aware of what is happening around you. With decreased awareness, you will not react to other cars as quickly and efficiently as you should. Even when you put down your phone and start driving again, your focus will not be fully on driving. You will still be thinking about whatever you were doing on your phone. You should consider every moment you are behind the wheel of a running car as driving, even when stopped in traffic or at a light. Operating a motor vehicle always requires your full attention.
Most accidents happen at intersections
According to the Federal Highway Administration, more than 50 percent of fatal and injury crashes occur at or near intersections. By checking your phone while at a red light, you might cause an accident due to your inattention. You may be so distracted by your phone that you miss the light turning green. This causes the cars behind you to honk. You become so startled by the honking that you hit the accelerator to move without checking your surroundings. If you were not first at the light, you could hit the car in front of you that also has not moved yet. If you were first, you could enter the intersection without looking and fail to avoid a car coming at you. It is impossible to predict what will cause an accident to happen, but it is very easy to avoid distractions. Keep your phone out of reach until you are off the road.
Distracted driving is hazardous. It is dangerous for you and it is dangerous for every other person on the road. We have a duty to others on the road to make an effort to keep the roads safe for each other. Allowing your phone to take your focus demonstrates that you have little regard for other drivers.