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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Perils Of Driving While Texting

We all know the dangers of drinking and driving. Every year, innocent lives are claimed on our roadways as a result of such negligence. However, negligence on the road isn't limited to alcohol abuse. A more common distraction to a motorist is driving while texting.  Driving while texting is a relatively new phenomenon that has proven to be fatal. But it should be regarded as serious an offense as drinking and driving is.

Not convinced? Let's take a look at some sobering facts about driving while texting (specifically among teens who text the most).

-Driving a vehicle while texting is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

-The federal agency reports that sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent -- when traveling at 55 mph -- of driving the length of an entire football field while blindfolded.

-Also according to the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration, Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of crashes among ALL drivers. For teens, it causes 11 percent of fatal crashes, and of those, 21 percent involved cellphones.

-The proportion of alcohol-related traffic crash deaths has dropped 52% since 1982 as a result of awareness, vigilance and statistical analysis. As a result, alcohol-related deaths are now at historic lows, but the proportion of traffic accident fatalities that are NOT alcohol-related has sky-rocketed 78% during the same time.

What is the solution?

The solution is to address the reality through awareness the same way MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving) were able to do. Now, there is an organization called Students Against Texting and Driving that is raising awareness among their peers as well as their parents. But more can still be done. While texting and driving is an unfortunate bi-product of the technological boom, technology could also help remedy the crisis it caused. For parents, there are apps that allow them to monitor and even disable phone use when the car is in operation. It would behoove any parent with a teen who has a cell phone and a license to look into.

For those who have had the unfortunate experience of being involved in an accident with a motorist who was texting while driving, then we want to hear your story. Our expert attorneys are abreast of the ever evolving laws concerning negligence behind the wheel, be it the result of alcohol intoxication or distraction by technology. Either circumstance is dire and should be addressed with vigorous legal counsel. We are here for you. Give us a call today.

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