How Your Phone Can Kill

Jun 17, 2020, 3:29 PM

It’s so easy to text and drive, but it can be deadly. What you can do to prevent distracted driving.

Kira Hudson of Indiana told her story to the Indianapolis Star newspaper about an incident that happened to her in 2005. She was arguing with her boyfriend on the other end of her phone as she drove her SUV down a deserted road. The argument was intense, more important than where she was going. 

With her phone still in her hand, Kira spotted a squirrel on the road and jerked the wheel to avoid the animal. But it was the wrong move. The vehicle twisted onto its side and slid off the road into a row of trees. The trees crushed the roof of the SUV. Kira survived the crash but lost her phone — and the use of her legs. She will be in a wheelchair the rest of her life.

The Facts On Distracted Driving

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that in 2018, nearly 3,000 people were killed in car accidents in the U.S. caused by distracted driving. Anything that takes your eyes off the road or breaks your concentration on controlling your vehicle is a distraction: eating, talking to someone else, and most significantly, texting. Reading or composing a typical text distracts you from driving for 5 seconds. The NHTSA says, “At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.” …and you may be driving faster than that.

Distracted driving safety
There is a ban on texting while driving in most states (including all six of the states in the Hastings Mutual coverage area). Illinois and several other states ban using handheld devices while driving. There are also fines if you’re stopped for distracted driving, most starting around $100.

Preventing Tragedy

What can you do to prevent a distracted driving situation?

  • The first is obvious: don’t text and drive. In fact, the best solution is to turn off your phone and put it out of reach until you get to your destination.
  • Be a role model for others. If you’re in a car with a driver who’s using a phone, tell him or her you’ll pick the music or send a message.
  • Make sure everyone in the car always puts on a seat belt. This helps protect you in any kind of car crash.

It’s easy to forget how much you need to focus when you’re driving. Yes, you need to get a lot done every day, but multi-tasking behind the wheel is not a way to do it. You can drive or you can text — you can’t do both.

Questions? Let us know in the comments. 

The Mutual Understanding blog and Hastings Mutual videos are made available for educational purposes only. The information referred to is not an official company statement, corporate policy, or offer of coverage. Refer to your insurance policy for specific coverage. There is no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of any information found by following any link on this site. Please contact your local independent insurance agent with further questions and for more details on any insurance policy-related information you read here.

© 2020 Hastings Mutual Insurance Company. All rights reserved.

Load more comments
New code