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The Informed Parent

Texting And Driving: Don’t Do It!

by Shanna R. Cox, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Published on Sep. 20, 2010

This month as everyone heads back to school and the streets and highways are as busy or more so than usual, I want to enthusiastically and emphatically implore everyone to stop texting and driving. There is no question about whether or not this is a deadly activity. However, many feel that while they would agree texting and driving is not the right thing to do, they continue to do it or feel the facts do not apply to them.

Here’s a brief bit of information to remind yourselves and others about the dangers of texting and driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes:

  • 80% of those surveyed in the United States admitted to texting and driving.
  • Greater than 50% of teens text and drive (our least experienced AND highest risk drivers)
  • 30% of auto accidents in teen and young adult population are related to texting and driving.
  • 15% of teen auto fatalities are related to texting and driving.

Car and Driver Magazine demonstrates texting and driving causes greater impairment than driving while intoxicated. See the demonstration on their website.

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Study confirms:

  • Texter’s eyes are off the road for 4.5 out of every 6 seconds while driving. In that time, traveling at 55 mph,
    a driver travels the length of a football field.
  • Truck driving texters were more than 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident than a driver with hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

There are multiple sources to obtain more information about texting and driving. Several car insurance agencies, such as Allstate and Nationwide, have statistics and campaigns designed to educate and stop texting while driving. The Oprah Show has initiated a “No Phone Zone” campaign, and provides a pledge that can be committed to and signed as part of your family’s plan for driving safety. Check out her website.

California’s Senate Bill 28, “no texting while driving law,” went into effect in January 2009. All drivers may be pulled over and ticketed for texting. There does not need to be a coincident infraction. There is currently additional legislation proposed to increase fines and penalties for texting and driving.

Be a role model and help save lives…AND PLEASE, DO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE!

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