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A new study demonstrating the extreme danger of texting while driving appeared on the front page of the NY Times today. The study involved installing video equipment in the cabs of long haul truckers for 18 months. The results showed that the risk of an accident while texting was 23 times greater than when not texting. This is significantly higher than earlier estimates reported. Of course, this should be a no-brainer for all of us. However, for some drivers the temptation to text while drive or read email messages while behind the wheel is often too great too avoid. Yet the consequences can be devastating. The study estimated that in the time it took a trucker to read a text, the big rig could cover the length of an entire football field. In other words, during this entire time, the driver’s attention and eyes are not focused on the road but on the electronic device.

I’ve personally witnessed this phenomenon. While driving in Florida the other day, the car in front of me suddenly swerved up onto the sidewalk before swerving back into her lane of traffic. As I approached the upcoming red light, I saw that the driver had a cell phone in hand and was texting!

It’s high time to ban texting while driving. Fourteen states do have such a ban. While it’s difficult to enforce at times, the ban would send a message to drivers (as if they need more warning) that such behavior is dangerous and may cost someone a life.

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for TampaGroup

    This is a BIG problem in our society. Texting while driving is obviously negligent, but so is the use of a cell phone when driving. However less distracting is not the issue. The fact that it is distracting is the issue. There should be a law encompassing all digital devices to be illegal to operate by the driver of an automobile. There are now laptops embedded in dashboards. Who is to say one is worse than the other with any accuracy. All digital devices are causing accidents nationwide every single day. If people need directions, they need to stop the vehicle to compute, communicate, or text. Convenience will still live.

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