You’re driving down the road when your phone goes off: singing the familiar sound of a new text message. Maybe you wonder if it’s that cute guy you met the other day asking you out, your BFF with groundbreaking news, or your mom wondering what’s taking you so long to get home. The need to be connected overwhelms you and you decide to look at your phone “just for a second.” “What harm could it do?” you ask yourself, reaching for your phone.
Wisconsin local, and the LG U.S. National texting champion, Austin Wierschke, even speaks out against distracted driving and texting while driving. He realizes that even a quick text sent from a champion speed texter takes too much of focus off the road to be considered safe. The reality is that it could do a lot of harm. Distracted driving dramatically increases the chances that a driver will be involved in an accident, and reading a text message is a big distraction. Experts estimate that in the time it takes to read a short word while driving, you have already traveled the length of a football field – without watching the road.
Wisconsin has new laws and regulations to help eliminate the causes of distracted driving, including texting and driving, which is illegal in the state. Even if a driver is looking at the road while they are texting, they are missing up to 50% of the information they would normally process while not texting and driving. Wisconsin also has different restrictions for novice, or teen drivers. Teen drivers are not allowed cell phones in any capacity: hands-free or otherwise.
It may be tempting to check your phone while driving, but it’s worth it to wait. The person on the other end of the phone will be happy that you waited until you made it safely to your destination to respond.