Every time you turn on the news, there is a story about an accident involving a driver who was texting. We are constantly reminded of the hazards of texting while driving, yet we still choose to text and drive.

It’s almost instinctual, your phone buzzes with a message and you reach for it to respond. Maybe it’s an important message you’ve been waiting for from your boss, or an exciting response from that special someone; whoever is behind the message, sitting behind the wheel should stop you from reading and responding to it.

What gives us the illusion that we can safely text while driving? Is it the fact that you only have to avert your eyes for a second? The reality is that the few seconds you look away from the road to respond to a text can change your life forever.

The detriments of texting while driving have gotten the attention of lawmakers and celebrities alike. Many celebrities, like Oprah Winfrey, have participated in campaigns to educate people on the dangers of texting and driving. State lawmakers have gotten involved as well, and 39 states have adopted a “no texting while driving” policy. States like California, along with ten others, have taken the law a step further and banned hand held phones, requiring “hands free” driving.  As statistics continue to come in on the dangers of driving while texting, more states have begun to adopt anti-texting laws.

You may not ever text and drive, but that does not mean you wont be affected by drivers who are texting and driving. If you are ever hit by a driver who was texting while driving, you should contact a Philadelphia law professional. With their help, your case can be prepared and you can be awarded damages.

There are many statistics on texting while driving, but here are a few that stand out:

• Texting while driving greatly increases the risk of having an accident. Drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident than drivers who don’t text and drive.

• In 2011, 1.3 million auto accidents involved a driver using a cell phone (23% of automobile accidents).

• When distracted by a cell phone, your attention is off the road for a minimum of 5 seconds. Driving at 55 mph, 5 seconds moves you the distance of a football field.

• Of children from the ages 12 to 17, half say they have been a passenger in a car where the driver was texting.

• 1/3 of teen drivers from the ages of 16 to 17 report that they text and drive.

• While texting and driving, teens veer out of their lane 10% of the time, putting other drivers at risk.

• 77% of teen drivers think they can safely text and drive, while 55% report that texting and driving is easy.

• 15% of teens have seen their parents text while driving. A seemingly low percentage of adults, 27%, report that they text and drive.

To avoid causing an accident, keep your phone out of reach while driving. If you hear your message alert go off, wait until you are in a safe (and stopped) position where you can read the message. No matter how important the message may be, it is not worth the risk of causing an accident.

If the message requires your immediate attention, and you are traveling with a passenger, hand the phone to them. Allow your passenger to tell you what the message says, and have them respond.

When it comes to texting and driving, no one is “good at it.” Take a look at the statistics, even people who often drive and text cause deadly accidents. All of them would gladly wait to respond to the text, if they could avoid the accident they caused by reading it.

If you have been involved in an auto accident, and you think the cause could be related to the other driver texting and driving, contact a Philadelphia law professional specializing in car accidents right away. There may be offers to settle from the insurance companies, but hold off until you have consulted a qualified Philadelphia car accident lawyer. They will be able to consult with you on your legal options, compensation, medical bill coverage, time lost from work, and pain and suffering.

By discussing your situation with a Philadelphia lawyer specializing in car accidents, you can insure the best options and consideration for your case.

The dangers of texting and driving are real. Don’t risk your future on a text message.