“America’s new deadly obsession” is starting to raise eyebrows among our local and federal government. The epidemic of texting while driving is causing many to call for anti-texting laws, and others to start campaigns against the deadly habit. In the past, the issue of texting while driving has not been as wide spread, as text communication was not nearly as popular a communication device and even those that had text support, had it on a limited basis on expensive cell plans. Now that it has become main stream, the incidences of texting while driving have skyrocketed. In fact, texting while driving is attributed with over 25% of car accidents today. In 2008, close to 6,000 people were killed and over half a million were injured due to driver distraction such as texting.
This obsession has gathered enough momentum that Congress is seeking to pass legislation to withhold public funds from states that permit cell phone texting while driving. Congress is currently considering bills that would not only punish the states that allow the practice, but also reward those states that ban it. In fact, texting while driving may soon be punishable by civil or criminal penalties of up to 2,750 dollars.
A research study shows that drivers who text while driving have their eyes off the road around 4.6 seconds out of every 6 seconds. Drivers that are using cell phones are 18% slower to react to brake lights and take 17% longer to regain lost speed due to braking, A further break down of texting while driving statistics are indeed humbling:
- – Teen drivers are four times as more likely than adults to get in accidents due to texting while driving
- – Texting while driving also makes an accident 23.2 times more likely than not
- – A driver reaching for a cell phone is 6.7 times more likely to be involved in an accident
As cell phones take on more and more usage throughout our daily lives, we become more distracted from the world surrounding us. Although they can provide both a link, and escape from reality, sometimes this comes at the most inopportune time. Operating both a car and cell phone at the same time is incredibly dangerous, and in the future may be illegal. Taking the steps to ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road is the first step towards a safer and more aware America.