by Tim O’Hare
Sending or reading a text message while driving takes your eyes off the road for more than four seconds. That is enough time for the road to curve, someone to cut you off, or the car in front of you to come to a sudden stop. If you are texting while driving, you will be far less able to react to any sudden road hazards.
A 2009 study found that individuals who text while driving spend 400% less time looking at the road compared to non-texting drivers. Other research has shown that the risk of crashing while text messaging and driving is more than double that of talking on the phone while driving. Texting while driving isn’t a minor distraction — it could mean the difference between life and death for you, your passengers or other drivers on the road.
Between 2001 and 2007, more than 16,000 people were killed in accidents caused by drivers who were engaging in text messaging while behind the wheel.
Local governments, celebrities, cell phone companies and individuals are all doing their part to get the message out that texting while driving is a life-threatening distraction.
In Dallas, you may have seen digital billboards along Central Expressway and other freeways displaying this simple message: “You talk, you text, you crash. Drive now, talk or text later.”
President Obama even signed an Executive Order banning federal employees from text messaging while driving government vehicles, or privately owned vehicles while on government business. Some states have enacted laws stricter than those adopted in Texas. In fact, Texas is just one of 11 states without a ban on texting while driving. Earlier this year, Governor Perry vetoed the Texas Legislature’s plan to ban text messaging while driving.
There are, however, some regulations on texting while driving in Texas.
- Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using wireless communications devices.
- Drivers who hold a learner’s permit are prohibited from using handheld cell phones in the first six months of driving.
- School bus operators are prohibited from using cell phones while driving, if children are present.
- Drivers are prohibited from using handheld devices in active school crossing zones.
- Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Amarillo, Galveston, El Paso, Missouri City, Canyon and Stephenville are a few of the Texas cities that have enacted local distracted driving laws.
Despite the number of public service messages and laws regarding the dangers of text messaging while driving, young people and experienced drivers alike continue to engage in this behavior, risking not only their own lives, but the lives of others.
The Last Text, a ten-minute documentary released by AT&T as part of its “It Can Wait” campaign, shares the stores of real people whose lives have been tragically affected by texting and driving. Seeing the faces of individuals whose lives have been lost, and the text messages they were reading or typing when they crashed, may be more powerful than any statistics.
Watch the documentary below.
Don’t text while driving. The life you save may be your own.
For more information about the dangers of distracted driving, read this article.
If you have been seriously injured or lost a family member in an accident caused by distracted driving, contact the experienced legal team at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare. We will help you receive all due compensation for your injury or loss.
Call The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for your FREE Case Evaluation
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