Texting and Driving
There are many different forms of distracted driving. The most prominent and a current topic of focus by many a state legislature is operating a cell phone while driving including texting. Most people agree that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a dangerous and unacceptable behavior behind the wheel. Many of those same people take a much softer stance as it relates to texting and driving even though emerging research and statistics that the dangers of texting and driving rival those of driving under the influence.
A Problem That Spans the Generations
In our wireless electronic age the problem isn’t confined to any one age group. Even though texting (including behind the wheel) is a behavior that is predominately tied to teens and young adults, research indicates that is not the case. Some research indicates that all age groups have a representative presence of these unsafe behaviors.
What’s the Danger?
Research conducted by the VirginiaTech Transportation Institute (VTTI) showed that text messaging had the highest risk and longest duration of time of having the driver’s eyes off the road. The risk was elevated to 20 times than that of not using a cell phone. Perhaps one of the most striking points of data is related to the time a texting driver’s eyes are off the road (4.6 seconds in a six second period). This equates to a driver driving the length of a football field at 55 miles per hour without looking at the road.
With all of the attention this issue is getting these days you’d think that it would be diminishing but that’s what people have thought about drunk driving for decades. In spite of the legislative and law enforcement efforts, people die and are seriously injured every year because of drunk drivers. Texting while driving is an issue that has reached a place of prominence that has the attention of legislators, law enforcement, educators and the general population. States will continue to enact laws restricting these unsafe behaviors but experience tells us that lives will still continue to be impacted.
If you live in the Gadsden, Anniston or Birmingham areas and you or a loved one has been injured because of a driver who was distracted behind the wheel by texting or otherwise using their cell phone, please contact The Shelnutt Law Firm, P.C., serving Birmingham and surrounding areas of Alabama.
601 South 5th Street, Gadsden, AL 35901