Enforcing Texting While Driving Law is More Difficult than you Think

Oct 30

We all know that texting while driving is illegal and dangerous, yet thousands of people do it daily. We see it every day on our way to work, school and while running errands; the person next to us or the person in front of us is distracted. Driving is dangerous enough without added distractions, so why do people still do it? Law enforcement officers say that the no texting and driving law is one of the most difficult to enforce.

Photo by Shattuck Auto

Phones are amongst the leading distraction for drivers. People don’t see the light turning green or that they are crossing the center line, all because they are too busy looking down at their phone. Police officers don’t always catch the people who are texting and driving, but does that make it okay? Fewer citations for texting while driving have been given this year compared to previous years, however, that doesn’t mean that there are fewer people using their phone while driving.

Researchers at Washington University have found that eight percent of the nearly 8,000 drivers observed this summer were distracted while driving, and of those 45 percent were distracted because they were texting. Research also shows that texting while driving increases your chances of crashing by 23 times, this is comparable to driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.19 which is more than twice the legal limit.

Who are you really fooling when you get away with texting and driving? The leading cause of fatalities amongst teen drivers in 2013 was not drinking and driving; it was texting and driving. Looking down at our phone to send a quick text takes our eyes away from the road for only a few seconds, but that is all it takes to turn a safe trip into a deadly one. On average we take our eyes off the road for less than five seconds when checking a text message, but at 55 mph that is like driving the distance of a football field.

Is that one text message so important that just to check it you are willing to risk your life and the life of others? Sure, you might get away with it, but how would you feel if you ended a person’s life all because “LOL” couldn’t wait? Texting can wait. Police officers might be on short supply, but you can make a difference by choosing not to text and drive. Join campaigns such itcanwait.comand help to spread encouragement of safe driving. Safe driving starts with you! Eliminate all distractions while driving, it saves lives.

Dalia Andrade

A journalism major at California State University of Northridge, Dalia writes with a news angle.

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