general image

Don’t Text and Drive | Why Texting is More Dangerous Than You Think

Author of the article

By Saoirse McClure Fisher

calendar 20-08-2021 tag MAINTENANCE clock 5 min read

How much harm can a single text cause? Well, possibly more than you think! How would you feel if we told you that you are twice as likely to crash while texting as you would be drink driving? While it may seem relatively harmless, sending a quick text while behind the wheel is a really bad idea. Today we are going to look at the things that make text-driving dangerous.


How Does Texting Affect Your Driving?

In a word… Seriously.

Texting while driving probably affects your behaviour on the road more than you think. Here are some of the things that happen when you pull out your phone on the road: -

You Get Distracted

The human brain is not programmed to give attention to two tasks at once.

Want proof?

Try this simple trick. Try rotating your right leg in one direction and your right arm in the other. Yep, you look funky. No, you aren’t that great at multitasking. 

The truth is nobody is.

When you are driving, you need to be giving your full attention to the road ahead.

You Aren’t in Full Control of Your Vehicle

When you were on your driving test, was it considered acceptable to have only one hand on the wheel? If it wasn’t then, it isn’t now…

You Miss Visual Cues

We are all guilty of staring at our phone screen ‘for a minute’ only to find that ten have passed while browsing. This also happens when you read a text, just on a smaller scale.

While you’ve got your eyes down on your phone, you are missing vital information in the outside world.

Vital information? Like what?

Oh, just: -

  • Crossings
  • Pedestrians
  • Road signs
  • Speed Limits
  • Hazards
  • Other cars
  • A child stepping out from behind the ice cream van…

Did the last one make you shudder? Hopefully so. Does that text seem so important now? 


Is Texting Really More Dangerous as Drink Driving?

Drink driving isn’t just dangerous because it reduces coordination. It also limits the speed at which your brain can respond to external stimuli. 

The fancy name for this is reaction time.

When you have two units of alcohol, that increases the time it takes for you to react by about 0.2 seconds. That might not sound a lot, but at 70mph, that is a good 40 feet!

But, get this…

Texting while driving causes this reaction time to increase by a factor of nearly 3! That’s 120 feet!

That is definitely the difference between avoiding a hazard and crashing. 

Simply put, it’s just not worth it!

If you want to see this effect for yourself, check this reaction time tester out… See what your reaction time is while paying attention, then try it while writing a text.

What the Law Says About Texting

According to the UK Government website, it is illegal to even hold your phone while driving. And this isn’t just when the car is in motion, either. In case you were wondering, you cant use your phone when: -

  • Stopped at lights
  • In standing traffic
  • While watching a learner driver

So when can you use your phone in a car?

It’s dead easy…

  • When you are legally and safely parked
  • If you need to call 999 in an emergency and it would be unsafe to stop.

That’s it!

Hands-free devices are good if you need to speak to someone, and allowances are made to enable this, but that is a really big no-no when it comes to reading or typing texts.

What’s the Penalty for Texting and Driving?

Listen, look at the above information again. Texting is over twice as dangerous as drink driving. While the penalties for using your phone aren’t quite as substantial, they can still be pretty severe. If you get caught texting on your travels, you can expect…

  • 6 penalty points
  • A £200 fine

In extreme cases, you could also face

  • A driving ban
  • A fine of £1000

All of the above for the sake of waiting a few minutes to read or send a text? The risks far outweigh the benefits!

Tips to Avoid Texting

Are you one of those people who just can’t seem to stop texting? Here are some quick tips to make sure you stay road legal.

  • Tell family and friends you are unavailable for the duration of your journey and ask that they don’t text
  • Turn your phone off completely
  • Put your phone in an area that you’ll have to be stopped to reach
  • Plan rest stops where you are ‘allowed’ to use your phone
  • Ask a passenger to text for you.


Avoiding texting while driving is one way to keep safe. Another way is to ensure your vehicle is in tip-top condition. A great way to reduce stopping distance is to install a fresh set of tyres. Motokiki offers tyres to suit a range of budgets and vehicles. It’s really easy to check too. Why not enter your registration on our website and see for yourself?

Share this article:


Get more with our tyre comparison

Get the best tyre prices and buy now from independent fitters near you!

  • Search postcode

  • Search tyre size