Despite the obvious risks to oneself and fellow commuters, the majority of motorists ignore cell phone restrictions by talking and texting while they drive. In fact, 80% of all motor vehicle accidents are caused by driver distraction. The most prominent form of driver distraction is cell phone use.
Fact: Talking on a cell phone was the cause of 25% of car accidents nationwide.
Case Study: Teens are at Risk
Outlawing text messaging has made several large strides in the last two years. In June 2008, US News and World Report published an article about the five teenage girls killed in a tragic car accident the after their high school graduation in Rochester, New York. Many might assume that alcohol was the contributing cause of the horrific accident. But it wasn’t. Rather, the teen driver was texting and inadvertently crossed into oncoming traffic and hit a semi trailer truck head on. This texting and driving car accident resulted in five fatalities and hundreds of thousands of damage.
The tragic story made national headlines and propelled a national insurance company to study the issue of texting and driving. The study found that 20% of drivers admitted to texting while they drove. Two years later in 2010, despite the implementation of several state laws banning texting, it has been found that 70% of motorists admit to texting and driving. Oprah Winfrey, in her 2010 No Phone Zone campaign, calls this need to text or talk on cell phones a social phenomenon. Whatever it is, the fact is that texting and driving is resulting increased car accidents and deaths—especially with the teen demographic.
Updated Cell Phone and Texting Statistics
- Texting while driving is 6 times more likely to result in an accident than driving while intoxicated.
- Over 60% of American teen drivers admit to risky driving. Nearly half of those who admitted to risky driving practices also admitted to text messaging while they were driving.
- 48% of teens report that they have been a passenger in a car while the driver was texting.
New Technologies Designed to Stop Texting and Driving
New technologies are being developed with the goal to eliminate the possibility of the driver to text and in some cases even use their cell phone when they are driving. Here are a few examples of where this type of safety innovation is headed:
Electronic Virtual Assistant (EVA): this electronic device provides drivers with a hands free option for sending and receiving text messages. The EVA will read your incoming messages to you through your hands free device. You have the option to dictate a message back that will be sent as an email. This EVA technology is currently available.
Cell Phone Disablers: Technology that would prevent cell phones from functioning in moving vehicles is already in the works. A few of the kinks that need to be worked out is how to disable the cell phone for only the driver and not the passengers. Also, there must be emergency options available to motorists.
These types of texting prevention technology is controversial and probably will need state or federal legislation mandating the use of this technology before it becomes popular or widely implemented. Regulation and enforcement are huge obstacles in the plight to eliminate texting and driving. Most states already have some form of legislation banning texting, but these laws have not been successful in reducing the problem. In fact, the predominance of texting drivers is increasing at an alarming rate nationwide.
Injured by a “Texter”: Call a Skilled Utah Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured by an individual who was texting and driving, it is wise to contact an experienced Utah Car Accident and Personal Injury Attorney. By contacting the Christensen Law Firm at 801.506.0800, you can schedule a FREE no obligation consultation to discuss the specifics of your case and to find out what your legal rights are. Call us today.