Texting While Driving Becoming a National Epidemic

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America loves its technology, including cell phones. Communication using text messages is at an all time high. Unfortunately, it can be hard to stop at the upcoming red light and hard to slow down with the flow of traffic when trying to send a text message to your wife about what to bring home from the store for dinner. Text messaging is already a major cause of driver distraction and resulting automobile accidents throughout the United States.

According to a recently published government survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 15,000 high school students across the nation were surveyed last year and the results found that an alarming 58% of high school seniors admitted to texting and emailing while driving their vehicle during the past month prior to the survey.

Furthermore, according to recent findings by the Texas Transportation Institute, texting while driving doubles a driver's reaction time and impairs the driver's ability to maintain proper lane position and constant speed. In 2009, approximately 5500 people died and half a million were injured in automobile accidents in the U.S. involving a distracted driver, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Thirty-nine (39) states in the country have a full ban on texting while driving an automobile. Texas is one of only 11 states without a state-wide ban on text messaging while driving a vehicle. In Texas, drivers are prohibited from using hand held devices in school zones and anyone under the age of 18 is prohibited from driving a vehicle and using a wireless device. Some Texas cities have also passed local bans on texting while driving a vehicle including Arlington, San Antonio, and Austin.

Numerous studies and research has found that texting and emailing while driving a motor vehicle contributes to driver distraction. Driver distraction contributes to and causes automobile accidents, resulting in serious personal injuries to other drivers and occupants of vehicles and, in the most unfortunate automobile accidents, the wrongful death of other drivers and passengers of motor vehicles.

The best way to avoid driver distraction caused by your mobile device is to simply turn it off or put it away while driving your vehicle. The risk of an automobile accident is simply too high. Also, parents must teach their teenagers about the dangers of texting, emailing, and talking on their cell phones while driving. Protect yourself, your loved ones, and other drivers by simply not texting while driving.
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