Cellphone use while operating a motor vehicle has been on the rise for years now. Every year a new phone comes out with features such as bigger screens, faster processors, and easier ways to stay in touch with others.
With each year that passes more people find themselves using their cellphones for numerous reasons while on the road.
One of the most dangerous is texting while driving.
- About 6,000 deaths and a half a million injuries are caused by distracted drivers every year.
- While teenagers are texting, they spend about 10 percent of the time outside the driving lane theyíre supposed to be in.
- Talking on a cell phone while driving can make a young driverís reaction time as slow as that of a 70-year-old.
- Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. That is enough time to travel the length of a football field.
Many people don’t realize just how big of an epidemic texting and driving is until unfortunately, it happens to a loved one or themselves. With phone use while driving is on the rise, many states still havenít adopted some sort of law to protect drivers on the road and to ban the use of phones while driving.
- Handheld Cell Phones: 10 states, D.C., Guam and the Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving. Except for Maryland and West Virginia (until July 2013), all laws are primary enforcementóan officer may cite a driver for using a handheld cell phone without any other traffic offense taking place.
All Cell Phone Use: No state bans all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for all drivers, but many prohibit all cell phone use by certain drivers:
- Novice Drivers: 31 states and D.C. ban all cell phone use by novice drivers.
- School Bus Drivers: Bus drivers in 19 states and D.C. may not use a cell phone when passengers are present.
- Text Messaging: 36 states, D.C. and Guam ban text messaging for all drivers. 33 states, D.C., and Guam have primary enforcement; the others, secondary.
- Novice Drivers: An additional 6 states prohibit text messaging by novice drivers.
- School Bus Drivers: 3 states restrict school bus drivers from texting while driving.
- Some states such as Maine, N.H. and Utah treat cell phone use and texting as part of a larger distracted driving issue. In Utah, cellphone use is an offense only if a driver is also committing some other moving violation (other than speeding).
Texting and Driving is just as bad as drinking and driving, yet every state has a law prohibiting drivers from drinking while driving and having penalties if one is caught doing so.
Shouldn’t texting and driving be banned nationwide as well?