How long do you think it takes to glance at a text message when you’re driving? One second? Two seconds? You’re not alone. Most drivers believe that texting and driving creates only a momentary distraction. Today on April 6, or 4.6, Lexus has released a new video to shatter this common misconception. The average length of time it actually takes to send or view a text message.
April is national Distracted Driving Awareness Month, established by the National Safety Council (NSC) more than 10 years ago. It’s a good time to regroup and reconsider the choices we make when we’re on the road. Distracted driving is dangerous, claiming 3,142 lives in 2019 (the most recent available data) according to NHTSA. Texting is the most alarming distraction. At 55 mph, taking your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds is like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
In the new video called “Driving Disrupted,” released today, Lexus demonstrates exactly what happens when drivers can no longer see the road for 4.6 seconds. Participants get behind the wheel of a Lexus NX on a closed course, thinking they’re taking the vehicle for a routine test drive. What they don’t know is that they’re not driving an ordinary NX. They’re driving a one-of-a-kind specially modified vehicle called the NX 4.6. It’s equipped with electrochromic technology that turns the windshield and windows from transparent to opaque instantaneously, completely obscuring the driver’s view for 4.6 seconds. The video captures the chaos that ensues.
“Lexus wants to bring awareness to safety behind the wheel by changing perceptions about texting and driving,” said Vinay Shahani, vice president of Lexus marketing. “Even the most advanced safety systems on the road today can’t replace the undivided attention of the driver.”