Just driving itself can be dangerous and even deadly. Add texting while driving to the equation and you are asking for disaster.
Unfortunately, many take to the already dangerous roads and don’t think twice when picking up a buzzing phone and respond quickly to a text message. But that’s all the time it takes to not notice a stopped car or a pedestrian crossing the street.
Just How Dangerous is Texting and Driving
Recent studies have shown that texting while driving is almost as dangerous to the driver and the public as an intoxicated driver. With the rapid growth of smart phones and mobile e-mail and text messages as a dominant method of communication comes the unwelcome consequence of an increase in serious traffic accidents as a result of inattention.
According to some of the latest data available, 26% of all car crashes involved cell phone use in 2014. At least nine people are killed every day because of a distracted driver and more than 1,000 are injured daily in the United Sates due to distracted drivers. The chance of a crash for any reason is increased 23 times when you are texting while driving.
Semi drivers are strictly prohibited from texting while driving. Being in an 18-wheeler accident for professional drivers who are reading or entering information in an electronic devise is a major violation of the safety rules.
Teenage Drivers and Texting
As you can imagine the problem is even greater when it comes to novice or teenage drivers, who are much more prone to text than they are to actually talk on their cell phones. As parents of teenagers we can tell you, it is not unheard of for teenagers to send 5000 text messages a month and that spells disaster for the teenage driver.
In 2015, 42% of teenage drivers said they had texted while driving. It’s likely no coincidence that texting and driving is the leading cause of death in teens.
It is critically important that parents demand that teenagers do not use their cell phone either texting or talking while driving. Not only should parents enforce this rule with the rigor but also monitor your teenage driver for the use of the cell phone while driving.
Sometimes with car accidents, there is no second chance. Make sure your teenage driver is aware of the dangers and not only does not text and drive but does not ride with the texting driver. The bottom line is it’s up to us as parents to lead by example.
Apps or Silent Mode
There are apps which can detect motion on a cell phone and turn off texting functions and this may be a good start, however putting your phone on silence whenever driving is probably a better alternative.
Texting Against the Law
States around the nation are also cracking down on distracted drivers – teenagers and veteran drivers alike. There are 38 states along with Washington, DC have banned all cell phone use by novice or teen drivers.
Here are some examples of how states are attempting to steer teenagers and experienced drivers away from driving and texting using cell phones all together when on the road.
- 15 states along with DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit drivers from using hand held phones while driving.
- 47 states along with DC, Puerto Rico, Guam and U.S. Virgin Islands ban texting for all drivers.
- As of Sept. 1, 2017, all drivers in Texas are banned from texting while driving.
You can see what the various laws are when it comes to driving and cell phone use and texting while driving following this link.