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Texting and Driving: A Dangerous Combination

Is there any one out there that doesn’t know that distracted driving is dangerous to you and to your fellow drivers? The newest distraction (adding to the “old” distractions of eating, putting on make-up, looking at yourself in the rear view mirror, looking at and talking to a passenger, yelling at your kids, talking on your mobile phone, dialing your mobile phone, changing your radio station, looking in your glove box, etc) is texting while driving. According to a new study, conducted by Virgina Tech Transportation Institute, texting makes a driver’s collision risk 23 times more likely than when he or she is not texting. I don’t know about you, but I did not need a study to tell me that distracted driving causes accidents, injuries, and, tragically, death on our nation’s roads. Isn’t it time we regulated this conduct and passed laws to ban these types of activities while driving?

The Virginia Tech study was done by mounting a video camera inside the cab of a semi truck. Aside from the “23 times more likely” statistic, the study also concluded that texting drivers (whether sending or receiving) took their eyes off the road for a full five seconds, time enough to drive the length of a football field and more, if traveling at highway speeds. The clear message of the study is that we should not be engaging in this activity while driving. Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Director, Tom Dingus, says the study’s findings could not be clearer:

You should never do this…It should be illegal.

Despite this study’s and many other studies’ conclusions, texting while driving is still legal in many states. Now, I ask you, do you want the common carrier of your valuable goods to be texting while driving? Do you want the school bus driver of your children to be engaging in this dangerous activity on the way to school? Do you want your driving-aged children or their friends to be able to do this? Or, how about drivers who are approaching your loved ones’ vehicles on a two lane rural highway? Pretty scary when discussed in those terms, isn’t it? Well, in most states, all of the drivers listed above can text, and text legally.

The National Safety Council has called for a nationwide ban on mobile phone use while driving. Obviously, the ban should and, supposedly would, include texting activities. As I pen this post, 14 states plus Washington, D.C. ban texting while driving. Every state in the union should pass sensible legislation banning this very dangerous form of distracted driving, and do so, as soon as possible. I, for one, do not need to see another study to ask the same question that Peter Paul and Mary asked, in song, years ago: “How many deaths will it take ’till they know, that too many people have died?”

Would the law be easy to enforce? No, it wouldn’t. Would it cause some to hide their texting making the activity even more dangerous? Yes, it would. However, the majority of our citizens know a good law when they see it; most will obey the law, if it becomes the law. If the frequency of activity is reduced, less accidents will result and less injuries and deaths will occur. Sensible legislation is a necessary start; Lawsuit Financial encourages the legislators in all 36 states that have not passed anti-texting legislation to consider well-reasoned legislation and pass it, as soon as possible. Your constituent’s and your children’s lives are at stake.

Lawsuit Financial is a leading provider of auto accident legal finance services all over the country. Auto accident lawsuit funding is provided to people who are injured or disabled in an accident and suffer financial setbacks as a result. As a provider of litigation funding services, we benefit, indirectly, from the filing of lawsuits. Accidents and injuries result in lawsuits; investing in lawsuits is how we make our living. As such, we do not derive an economic benefit from promoting texting bans and other safety measures. We do so because it is the right thing to do; the safety of our citizens is important to us and to every trial lawyer who has ever represented a seriously injured person or the estate of their deceased loved ones. It is time for all of us to stand up for safety.