Texting and driving has become a huge problem on roads everywhere. These days, more and more people are using their cell phone in ways they shouldn’t while behind the wheel of their vehicles. Even if they are merely glancing down to read a word or two on the screen, texting and driving results in distraction and accidents. Many other drivers, passengers, and even pedestrians in addition to the driver who is guilty of texting can suffer injury, and in the worst case scenario, death. There are laws in the country that involve texting and driving that everyone should know. It is worth looking into these laws.
Texting while driving is against the law in a number of states in the United States. Some of the more strict states include Massachusetts, Louisiana, Minnesota, New York, Vermont and Wisconsin. Talking on a hand held cell phone has been banned in 10 states total.
Using a cell phone in the hand by any new driver is restricted in 32 states as well as the District of Columbia. Some states, such as Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma, have laws that restrict drivers with learner permits, school bus drivers and public transit driver from texting while driving. Some states, such as Arizona, Florida, South Carolina and South Dakota, have no ban on texting while driving.
Texting and Driving Statistics
Of course, the majority of individuals who are guilty of texting while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle are teens. Scary statistics have shown that one in four teens have admitted to texting while driving, and approximately 40 percent of young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have admitted that they have been a passenger in a car with a teen who has texted while driving.
Texting while driving is scary as the person behind the wheel is not paying full attention to the road, which can easily result in a car crash. In 2010, 18 percent of car accident injuries occurred as a result of a distraction of some sort. This includes receiving and sending text messages.
It Can Wait
It is important to be 100 percent focused on the road and to adhere to all traffic signs, lights and right of way with other vehicles and pedestrians. There is a far lesser chance of getting into a car accident if the driver’s attention is focused on the road and everything around their vehicle. This can save lives and prevent a great deal of misery. Any driver who receives a text message or wants to compose one should have their phone in a hands free position and either use their device’s voice feature or wait until later to do so.
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Drivers who text and drive are a hazard to themselves and others. David Kohm is an Arlington, TX attorney providing legal counsel for those injured in automobile accidents due to a negligent driver.