Text Messaging While Driving Leads To Driven Distraction

By March 24, 2011 January 10th, 2018 Auto Accident Lawyer

Today’s headlines are replete with stories relating to the danger and risk associated with text messaging while driving. In 2008, nearly 800,000 Americans were texting or making telephone calls while driving. In that year alone, 6,000 American lives were lost due to distracted driving, likely caused by cellular phones and their features.

Personal injury attorneys around the nation are faced with combating this issue as more and more accidents are caused by distracted texters. While thirty states have outlawed text messaging while driving, a new survey by the Consumer Reports National Resource Center reports that one in three drivers under age 30 have sent or read a text message while driving. As well, 64% of drivers reported witnessing another driver texting while driving.

What impact has texting while driving had on other motorists? Text messaging while driving has proven to impair drivers’ attention analogous to the effects of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Earlier this month, Michigan took its first look at the deadly impact of texting while driving as it tackled the first fatality under the recently-enacted ban. The defendant was texting while driving, ran a stop sign and collided broadside with another vehicle containing two elderly motorists, one of which was killed instantly. Frustrated, Michigan prosecutors realized that under the text message law, violators face a maximum of just one year in prison. Similarly, a young man in Arizona, a state having yet to enact a texting-while-driving ban, recently struck and killed a teenage bicyclist while distracted by his cellular phone.

Parents of young, teenage drivers are especially worried that the combination of roadway inexperience and text message distractions will lead to disastrous consequences. In a recent poll by AAA, 24% of teenage drivers admit to texting while behind the wheel. In addition, law enforcement agencies around the nation have reported an increase in teenage accidents due to texting and cellular phone distractions.

Luckily, cell phone manufacturers have begun to catch on the need for text restrictions and have designed applications for phones that will disable a user’s ability to text while driving. Sprint recently unveiled an application for its phones that would lock out nearly all functions of the phone while in the vehicle. Certain other applications are able to read text messages out loud to the user so she does not need to check her phone while driving. Also, the Chevy Cruze comes with an optional system that can read your Facebook feed while driving.

Make no mistake about it, text messaging and driving is a detrimental and distracting activity that consumes far too many motorists today. Distraction levels are severely heightened by constant updates, internet surfing and social networking while driving. While thirty states have banned texting and driving, many others have not followed suit, meaning that at any given time other drivers around you may be paying more attention to the latest news feed than the road ahead. Always practice safe, defensive driving and help avoid any more useless accidents at the hands of text messaging motorists.

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