business messaging blog
Texting and Driving: The Temptations and the Dangers
Scott Navratil

SMS messaging has its advantages for both users who are wanting to communicate and businesses who are wanting to reach out to users. Texting is simple, quick, and effective. For example, when a text comes to a person’s inbox, it usually takes just a few seconds to read the message. The invasive way that messages are received with their ding or jingle cause users to quickly pull out their phone. Or if someone wants to send a brief message, they can take a few seconds to text someone rather than call them. While these features are all great for users, sometimes they can cause problems.

Texting While Driving

The easiness of texting makes it tempting to text while driving a vehicle. If a person gets a message, they can read it in less than a few seconds. Some people do not think it would be dangerous to avert their eyes from the road to their phone for just a brief moment. In fact, according to Don’t Text and Drive, 77 percent of surveyed young adults confidently think that they can text while driving. 55 percent of young adults think that it is easy to text and drive. Unfortunately, these young adults do not know the potential consequences of texting and driving.

The Dangers of Texting while Driving

If a person is driving at 55 miles per hour, and they take just 5 seconds to look at a text message, that person’s eyes are off the road for a significant distance—about the length of a football field. That is a long amount of road to drive without eyes on the road. People are not recognizing the dangers of texting while driving. In 2011, 23 percent of auto collisions involved cell phones. And with the increased popularity of SMS messages, there is a greater risk for drivers to get into a collision from texting while driving.

Preventing Texting while Driving

This month, The Texas house of representatives passed a house bill that bans drivers from driving and texting. The bill will continue onto the senate, and if made a law, anyone caught texting while driving will be charged with a misdemeanor, along with a penalty of a fine of $25 to $99 and even up to $200 for repeat offenders.

KXII Fox News 12 interviewed Sherman PD Sgt. D.M Hampton, who said that “most accidents are occurred by two common things: one of them being driver inattention and another one being speed.” And if it is true that texting while driving is the same as driving blind for 5 seconds at a time, then texting while driving is definitely a contributor to driver inattention and is likely to cause an accident.

What Does This Mean for Businesses?

While it is true that texting while driving is a problem, a fatal problem, it should not deter businesses from using SMS messages to reach customers. There are great advantages to using SMS messages to reach customers. But businesses should be aware of the temptation to text and drive and use that information to help customers avoid such temptations. For example, businesses can direct their SMS message marketing campaigns to go out at certain times of the day. Avoid times when people are normally driving. While we might not know when everyone is driving, we do know that common driving times are between eight and nine in the morning and between five and six in the afternoon. Instead, choose campaign times that are not during rush hour when many of your customers will be on the road. Help keep everyone on the road safe by reaching out and sending text messages to customers at times that will not put them at risk.

Chantel Fullilove

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