Texting and Driving

Before calling someone on their cell phone think first, is that person probably driving? If so, don’t place the call!

If you receive a call or text while driving, you don’t have to answer immediately! That’s one of the wonderful things about modern technology – later, when you’re safely stopped, you can return the call with the push of a button.

On January 12, 2010 the National Safety Council released a study indicating that 28 percent of all motor vehicle collisions occur when people are either talking on a cell phone or sending text messages while driving. 1.4 Million crashes are caused annually by cell phone conversations. 200,000 of which are blamed directly on texting while driving.

19 states and the District of Columbia have banned texting while driving. Of those states, Virginia, New York, Washington and Louisiana have laws in place that require some other primary reason for stopping a vehicle.

A 2009 experiment with Car & Driver Magazine editor Eddie Alterman determined that texting and driving actually had a greater impact on safety than driving drunk. While legally intoxicated, Mr. Alterman’s stop time at 70 miles per hour increased by four feet. While reading an e-mail, his stop time increased by thirty-six feet. While sending a text message, his stop time increased by seventy feet.

For approximately $40.00 you can purchase “Texecution”, an application that disables internet and texting functions when a person is traveling at 10 miles per hour or more.

Before sending a text message while driving, ask yourself this question: “Is this text message worth my life or that of the person I am sending it to?”

Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood formally announced the formation of FocusDriven at a press conference on January 12, 2010. FocusDriven is an advocacy group for victims of motor vehicle collisions involving drivers using cell phones. For more information, visit www.focusdriven.org.

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