Five seconds. That is how long it takes a driver to read the average text message while driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
A lot can happen in five seconds. Bill Gates makes a few thousand dollars, over 10 hectares of the world become desert, 21 babies are born, and another eight people die in the world.
If you do not want to become one of those eight who die, you need to avoid using your phone when driving and stay away from drivers who use theirs.
How far can you drive in five seconds?
Someone driving at 55 m.p.h. will cover the length of a football pitch in five seconds. Next time you are sitting at a red light, imagine a football pitch stretching out in front of you. Count all the things happening along its length. For example:
- How many cars are there?
- How many pedestrians are waiting to cross?
- How many holes in the road could force someone to swerve?
- How many driveways or turnings could people pull out from?
A lot could go wrong if a driver is looking at their phone screen rather than the road. It takes a distracted driver less than five seconds to crash into you. Yet, it could take you years to recover from your injuries.
For the sake of someone checking one text message, you could suffer weeks in hospital, need months of rehabilitation, or suffer lifelong back pain. Carrying out a thorough investigation and putting together a compelling argument for compensation will take longer than five seconds, but it will be time well spent to get the payout you need to rebuild your life after a crash.