According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, driving a vehicle while you are texting is as much as six times more dangerous than driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. According to the federal agency, sending a text takes the driver’s eyes off the road for an average period of 4.6 seconds. If the driver were traveling at 55 miles per hour, it would be the same as driving the entire length of a football field while blindfolded.
Each year, texting while in a truck or car causes up to 3,000 deaths and over 330,000 injuries each year. This has become the leading cause of accidents and deaths for teenage drivers, taking the place of drinking and driving. However, it is not just a problem with teens, with 47% of adult drivers admitting to texting while driving. Drivers that are texting are as much as three times more likely to be involved with a crash than those who are not texting.
The Epidemic of Texting and Driving
Due to the huge epidemic that has developed around people texting while driving, entire ad campaigns have been developed all around the world in an effort to reduce the frequency it occurs. There have been a number of laws passed in various cities and states, which make texting and even talking on the phone without using a hands free device illegal and subject to both fines and tickets.
Laws Regarding Cellphone Use
Due to the huge influx of accidents, injuries, and fatalities that result from texting and driving, a number of states have issued laws, which include:
- 10 states, including D.C. have prohibited every driver from using any type of handheld cellphone while in the vehicle.
- 32 states including D.C. prohibit any novice drivers from using any type of cellphone.
- 39 states including D.C. have prohibited all drivers from texting while they are driving.
Helpful Tools to Prevent Texting and Driving
For parents who are worried about their teen’s texting while driving, there are a number of tools that are now available. These have been presented by companies that are also concerned with the issue caused by texting and driving. Some of these technology rich tools include:
- Drivecam: This will monitor a driver’s activity while providing real-time feedback, including video.
- AT&T Drive Mode: This is a free mobile app for Blackberry and Android devices that encourage anti-texting.
The sad fact is that even with laws in place in the majority of states around the nation, texting while driving remains a huge problem, and one that causes hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries each year. It is essential that more people become aware of the issue in order to address the problem and keep drivers safe while on the road.
Legal Help is Available
If you are ever involved in an accident that involves texting while driving, it may be important for you to seek legal advice. Contact Carey, Danis & Lowe for advice and counsel regarding your situation.