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March 04, 2010

Texting While Driving, Unsafe at Any Speed

By Erin Marquis

Texting Texting while driving (TWD) is a serious issue in the United States. Currently 19 states ban the practice of sending a text while operating a vehicle and President Barak Obama has banned all federal employees from TWD while they are conducting government business. These laws are only going to become more prevalent and strict and for good reason, TWD kills.

In Utah a young man killed two people when he sent a text while driving to work. That state now sentences those who text and drive has seriously as drunk drivers who kill. He pled guilty to vehicular manslaughter. There are studies that suggest the amount of impairment is even worse when texting then when driving legally drunk.

According to the New York Times, 97% of Americans think texting while driving should be banned. Yet why do some many people still do it? The answer unfortunately comes from the most inexperienced drivers on the road. Teens and young adults are more likely to text and drive because they are more comfortable with the technology. But comfort is a long way from being safe. A recent study of 19-24 year olds demonstrated that teenagers who were engaged in texting while driving are up to six times more likely to have an accident. When a driver is actively involved in TWD, his driving patterns change. For instance, the response time needed to break slows down by 23%.

Protecting your teens from causing a serious accident is as simple as having a serious talk with them and setting a good example. Teens are more likely to drive safely if their parents don’t drive with a distraction, which includes speaking and texting on a cell phone while driving.

Click here for more safety articled from Road & Travel Magazine


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