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Texting While Driving

Texting while driving is becoming a growing problem throughout the United States. Many of the offenders of this crime are teenagers. Being distracted while driving not only puts you in danger, but it also puts the other people on the road in danger as well. Many people have died as a result of other people texting while driving, and being extremely distracted. Being distracted while on the road, no matter what it is that you’re doing can be highly dangerous to everyone involved. People, organizations, councils, and so many others are coming together to stop distracted driving from happening.

Laws

Currently, the majority of the states that do not have distracted driving laws are working to get them put in place. A lot of states have made texting while driving illegal. People are able to use their cell phones to talk, as long as they are hands free. While not every state has a hands free law, a lot of them find that distracted driving needs to be controlled and are trying to get the law passed for the state.

The states that do not have the distracted driving law in place are:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • West Virginia

Facts

A lot of people think that they are able to multitask while behind the wheel, and the truth is there is a price to pay when it comes to taking your eyes of the road for that text message, to eat breakfast, or even to apply makeup. The dangers are known, but we still cannot resist the urge to do these things. These things create most of the accidents that are on the road, and even though research says put everything down, keep your hands on the wheel, and your eyes on the road, no one listens.

  • The shocking truth is that texting while driving increases the chances of crashing by over 23 times normal driving.
  • People have a longer response time when they text and drive. A drunk driver needs 4 extra feet to stop, while a driver who is texting needs over 70 feet in order to stop on time.
  • Before a crash, the driver spends five seconds looking at their telephone. This gives them enough time, on a typical highway to go more than the length of a football field.
  • 95 percent of drivers admit that they know texting and driving is dangerous and even illegal, but 21 percent of these people admitted to texting anyway.
  • Teens have the highest texting crash rate. They exhibit erratic behavior behind the wheel while texting such as swerving in and out of lanes, and even running into other vehicles on the road.
  • 37 percent of drivers that are 18 to 27 years of age admit to texting while driving, while only 14 percent of drivers between 28 and 44 years of age admit to texting while driving, and only 2 percent of 45 to 60 year olds.
  • On average, an accident happens within two to three seconds when the driver is texting.
  • 5,800 people were killed in 2008 because of driver distraction. There have been over 500,000 people hurt in these accidents.

Turning off or muting the cell phone can decrease the chances of an accident of happening by 50 percent. This gives you less of an urge to text or talk, and you can make sure to resist the urge and get to where you have to be safely.

What You Can Do

Become active with the entire ban against texting while driving, or other distracted driving laws. This shows that you do care what happens, and that these laws are needed to keep people from doing these acts while behind the wheel. You want to be a leader, and not a follower. Just because all of your friend’s text while driving doesn’t mean that you should. Think about all of the people that you’re putting in danger if you choose to do so. You should also let your friends know of the dangers that come from texting while driving, or any other type of distraction while driving. Letting them know that you’re above this type of behavior might make them think twice about distracted driving.

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Matt is the Managing Partner at Leland-West Insurance Brokers, Inc. He started with the firm while still a college student, way back in 1984. According to Matt his only remaining hobby is Motorsport ... because its all he can afford ("will work for tires"). Reach him at matt@lelandwest.com