There are many reasons you might feel the need to text while driving. Maybe you want to tell a friend you are running late or perhaps you want to share your input on a work email chain. No matter how urgent the message you receive or want to send seems in the moment, it’s important to keep the potential dangers of texting while driving ahead of your desire to pick up your phone.

Not only is there a fairly new ban on texting and driving in Florida, but it is extremely dangerous for you and fellow drivers, riders and pedestrians on the road. Some distracted driving incidents might seem out of your control, like if your child throws a fit in the backseat or a construction site catches your eye. But keeping your phone tucked away is you drive is something you can and should manage.

How distracting is my phone?

There are three types of distractions when it comes to driving — visual, manual and cognitive. And when you pick up a mobile device to read or send a message, you wind up engaging in all three categories of distracted driving, because:

  • You will be looking at your phone instead of the road
  • You will have the phone in at least one hand instead of the wheel
  • You will be thinking about texting rather than an upcoming stop sign

It’s also worth noting that when your eyes are on your phone screen instead of your windshield, it will naturally take you longer to notice and react to any risks on the road. According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, a car going 50 mph will almost travel the length of a football field before coming to a complete stop. So, if are driving while distracted on a 50-mph and there is a stalled car about 300 feet away, then you might end up rear-ending the parked car.

Car crashes can cause a great deal of physical pain and emotional suffering. Even though you can receive compensation after a personal injury incident, no matter whose fault it is, keeping texting separate from driving can save you from injury and preserve your life.