Posted by: lindseychristine | November 5, 2009

Lay off the Texting, Keep Your Eyes on the Road!

texting2All of our lives the message of “don’t drink and drive!” has been drilled into our brains. Last year, intoxicated, impaired drivers killed approximately 11,773 innocent lives in the U.S., according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. We’ve been told again and again to not drink and drive, but what about texting? How often are we told to refrain from replying to those texts and focus on the road?

Those couple seconds of taking your eyes off the road to look down at your cell phone can easily and quickly lead to a horrific accident, even a fatal one. Just like drunk driving kills, the simple act of texting can too.

In November 2007, 24-year old, Victoria McBryde of Oxford, England, a talented fashion designer out of college, was hit on the side of the road where her car had broken down and was killed by a texting driver, according to The New York Times on Sunday. The Times reported that McBryde was hit by Phillipa Curtis, 22, whose cell phone flew onto the road after the accident. Curtis’ phone revealed that about two dozen text messages were exchanged within one hour prior to the crash and had one, new unopened text that was sent to her just seconds before the crash.

In February 2008, Curtis was sentenced to 21 months in high-security prison for “death by dangerous driving,” which falls under new British governments policies that advises those who text or drink while driving to four to seven years jail time. The Times provided a valid point, “The case reveals the tensions that arise when law enforcement and the courts begin to crack down on a dangerous habit that has become widespread and socially acceptable. Is texting while driving bad judgment, or a heinous crime? And what is the appropriate punishment?”

phoneAlthough texting does not impair us cognitively like alcoholic beverages, texting is a big, big distraction to our driving. “For every 5 seconds of drive time, a driver sending or receiving a text message spends 4.6 of those seconds with their eyes off the road. This makes texting the most distracting of all cell phone related tasks,” according to a Car Accident Cell Phone Statistics report by Edgar Snyder & Associates Law Firm.

We may not even think twice about our actions of texting while on the road, but we truly should. Texting behind the wheel is risky and places those around us, surrounding cars and pedestrians, at severe danger. Yet, approximately 50% of drivers ages 18-24 admitted to texting while driving, according to this Pennsylvania law firm.

A NY Times and CBS News poll revealed that almost all Americans believe sending texts while behind the wheel should be illegal. 50% believe the punishment for texting while driving should be comparable to those who are found driving drunk, according to a NY Times report last Sunday.

notexting2009The Governors Highway Safety Association confirmed that 18 U.S. states and the District of Columbia currently prohibit drivers from text messaging. States are beginning to crack down on this dangerous habit, but is the message clear to tech savvy drivers who just can’t seem to put their phones down? It’s truly a harmful activity that we must control ourselves from taking part in and become conscious about.

How would you feel if you caused a car accident that injured others and yourself because you made the decision to reply back to that text?! Ultimately texting while driving is a selfish act. Protect yourself and others by choosing to pull over if you need to text.

Don’t become a statistic or let this happen to you…

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A driver texting causes this brutal collision this past May


Americans speak their minds on this issue here.

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Responses

  1. Have you heard the story of the cheerleaders killed because of texting near Rochester, NY? This really heightened our state’s awareness of the texting issue because it was such an avoidable tragedy. They hit a tractor trailer head on and their car exploded and everyone inside died. Check out some of the stories about it. It really changed the state’s legislation on texting: http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20070628/NEWS01/706280349/%5C-Hearts-are-broken%5C—Crash-kills-5-Fairport-%5C-07-graduates

  2. It’s so hard to text and drive, I know I won’t do it anymore after reading this post

  3. I hate using the phone just to talk when I’m driving, less because I’m afraid I’ll get picked up and more because I have trouble concentrating on the road and the conversation at the same time. I can’t imagine actually trying to text without becoming part of another statistic to use for an anti text-while-you-drive campaign.


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