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How Law Enforcement Can Tell You’re Texting Behind the Wheel

Serving Families Throughout Jacksonville
texting and driving

If you think you can text and drive without getting caught…think again.

Texting while driving is illegal in most states—forty-eight of them to be exact. And that’s because texting is among the most dangerous forms of distracted driving, tripling the risk of a crash. But lots of drivers still text behind the wheel, and many assume they won’t get caught.

The Myth of Multitasking

Your brain cannot process two cognitively demanding things at once, such as reading texts and driving. Instead, your attention shifts rapidly between two tasks. Even when it feels like you’re getting two tasks done at once, what you’re actually doing is switching between two tasks at lightning speed. This is called task switching and it takes an enormous amount of mental effort, meaning you’re likely to make a mistake.

So, if you think you can text and drive without getting caught…think again. Here’s what law enforcement is looking for:

  • Intermittently looking down
  • Holding a device on the steering wheel
  • The glow of the device at night
  • Nearly striking an object or vehicle
  • Failure to safely maintain lane control
  • Driving into opposing or crossing traffic
  • Slow response to traffic signals
  • Turning abruptly or illegally
  • Failure to maintain consistent speed
  • Failure to signal
Across the country, law enforcement is experimenting with less conventional ways of catching distracted drivers. Raised police vehicles like SUVs and trucks, for example, provide a better vantage for police to spot a texting driver. And look out for police parked at busy intersections and overpasses. Officers often work in coordinated pairs to pass out texting citations.

No text is worth the risk of injury to yourself or others. If you’re ever involved in a serious accident and the other driver claims you were texting, cell phone data can be obtained and used to investigate the circumstances leading up to the crash.

The bottom line is this: keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel to avoid distractions. Never text and drive.