Banning Texting While Driving Will Save Lives

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The National Safety Council estimates that a person has a one in eighty-four chance of dying in a car crash. There are many different reasons that car accidents happen, but driving while distracted is a factor in around one-fourth of police reported crashes. One specific distraction that is gaining a lot of attention right now is texting while driving. United States traffic deaths caused by talking on a cell phone are around 2,500 each year.The number of people injured from accidents caused by talking on the cell phone is staggering, and includes hundreds of thousands of people. Those numbers are just people talking on the cell phone, not text messaging. Since text messaging is a fairly new phenomenon, there have not yet been specific numbers posted as to how many accidents have been caused by it. However, many fear the number is rising and will continue to rise if something isn’t done about it.Imagine being involved in an accident in which the person causing the accident was illegally using his or her cellphone. Consider the damage and injuries that could have easily been avoided if the person hadn’t been so careless as to think a message or phone call couldn’t wait. Think about the guilt you would feel if you caused the accident because you were using your cellphone. You may never be able to forgive yourself. Accident Lawyers, as well as Personal Injury Lawyers are facing these issues daily with clients.Research by the University of Utah has been done that indicates distractions from cell phone use limits a driver’s reaction time just as much as if the driver had a blood alcohol level of.08 percent. Virginia Tech has also done studies that show the number one source of driver inattention is the use of a cellular phone or other wireless devices. In fact, drivers using cell phones are four times more likely to get into accidents, as using the phones can reduce brain activity by almost thirty-seven percent.With over 270 million cell phone subscribers, 110 billion text messages sent each month, and 19% of all drivers admitting to text messaging while driving, many states are looking for ways to prevent accidents and deaths due to cell phone use. Some states, like New York, have already banned the use of handheld phones while driving, and most of the other states are considering bills that would regulate cell phone usage as well.Kentucky, for example, is working on a bill that would make it illegal to text message while a car is moving. Tickets around $25 will be issued to those that are caught. Georgia is also currently working on a similar bill, but with even heftier fines as high as $300. North Carolina, Tennessee, and Maryland are a few of the twenty states that have already banned texting while driving. Texting may be more dangerous than drunk driving, and thousands of lives could be saved with new laws.