With the rise in popularity of technology such as smartphones, new laws have had to be passed in order to keep people safe. The use of mobile phones have been linked to a significant increase in distracted driving which can result in injury and even death. Research and statistics have shown that accidents due to distraction from texting while driving have greatly increased as mobile phones have become more widely used than ever. In addition to laws being passed to help stem the problem of texting while driving, government agencies, and other organizations are working to educate the public about distracted driving and ways to reduce dangerous incidents.
Texting While Driving Laws
There are currently no national laws banning the use of mobile phones while driving however a number of states have passed such laws. The laws put into place regarding using a mobile phone while driving range from state to state but can result in fines, a trip to court and having to pay for a lawyer, potentially higher car insurance rates, and other consequences. Drivers should familiarize themselves with the laws in their specific state.
Preventing Texting While Driving
While laws are being passed to stop people from using a phone while driving, there are other things that can be done to deter this behavior. Education about the dangers of texting while driving, especially for teens and new drivers, is imperative. It is important for parents and caregivers to discuss the dangers of texting while driving with teens in addition to putting rules into place for driving. It is also important to keep in mind that children will often learn from and mimic their parent’s behavior. For this reason, parents should never text and drive to set a good example for their children. If the phone needs to be used, people should pull over to the side of the road.
The Statistics on Texting While Driving
The statistics regarding texting while driving can be downright shocking.
- Drivers who are text messaging are twenty three times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers who are not distracted.
- Forty percent of US teenagers stated that they had been in a car where the driver was using a cell phone in a manner that put other people in danger.
- Mobile phone use results in more than one million car accidents each year with one out of four crashes in the US caused by texting while driving.
- Drivers are six times more likely to cause an accident when driving while texting than if they were driving drunk.
- Texting is the most dangerous of all mobile phone use while driving and causes the most distractions.
- More than ninety percent of drivers support the banning of texting while driving.
- More than 300,000 injuries occur as the result of accidents from texting while driving each year.
- Studies have shown that it takes approximately five seconds to read a text; when traveling at fifty five miles per hours, five seconds is enough time to travel the length of a football field.
- Teenage drivers are four times more likely to crash when texting or talking on a cell phone than adults.
- More than twenty percent of teens involved in fatal accidents had been distracted by their mobile phones.
As the use of technology continues to increase, further laws are likely to be passed to keep drivers safe. Government agencies and organizations will continue to try to spread awareness about the dangers of text messaging while driving in hopes of stopping what has been shown to be an incredibly dangerous act.
Learn More About Texting While Driving:
- The Dangers of Texting While Driving
- Distracted Driving Laws By State
- Injury Prevention and Control: Distracted Driving Education
- Distracted Driving: Key Facts and Statistics
- Eleven Facts About Texting and Driving
- Texting While Driving: Parents’ Role in Prevention
- Texting and Driving Prevention Campaigns
- Four in Ten Teens Admit to Texting While Driving
- Fear of Death May Curb Youthful Texting and Driving
- Texting While Driving Kills, But Can We Stop?
- Digital Responsibility: The Risks of Texting While Driving
- Cellular Phone Use and Texting While Driving Laws
- Distracted Driving in the United States and Europe
- Distracted Driving, Talking, and Texting
- Texting While Driving Health Video
- Driver Safety: The No Texting Rule Fact Sheet
- Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging While Driving
- Four Reasons Why You Should Not Text and Drive
- An Investigation of the Effects of Reading and Writing Texts While Driving
- National Safety Council – Distracted Driving Research Studies
- The Dangers of Texting While Driving