As cell phone distractions become a growing problem – more and more states are passing laws forbidding fiddling with cell phones while behind the wheel noting that distractions while driving can be akin to driving while intoxicated. Perhaps the biggest of these distractions is texting while driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 16% of all fatal car crashed in 2008 were a result of driver distraction. This number will seemingly only increase as mobile devices become more and more popular.
Earlier this summer, Texas Gov. Rick Perry refused to sign a statewide ban forbidding texting and driving because such a law, in his opinion, would micromanage the conduct of adults. It is already illegal in Texas to text while driving or use cell phones for drivers under the age of 18.
Despite the governor’s refusal to sign the prohibition on texting while driving into law, many cities have made it illegal in their respective jurisdictions.
The fact that Gov. Perry refused to ban texting while driving should not deter us from recognizing the enormous dangers of texting while driving. Distracted driving slows reaction times and increases the chance of accidents causing injuries and even death. For parents, it is especially important to discuss the importance of minimizing distractions on the road to ensure the safety of new drivers as well as the public at large.