Toxic Cocktail: Texting while Driving

Are you ready to turn off your cell phone and stop texting while driving?

Ready or not, if the National Transportation Safety Board has its way — there will be a nationwide ban on personal electric devices like cell phones.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, more than 3,000 people lost their lives in 2010 in distracted driving related accidents.

Can’t that text message wait? That’s what voicemail is for…to listen to the messages later.

The safety recommendation calls for all 50 states and D.C. to ban the non-emergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers. The safety recommendation also urges use of NHTSA model of high-visibility enforcement to support these bans and implement targeted communication campaigns to inform motorists of the new law and greater enforcement.

Three thousand deaths due to (avoidable) distracted driving are too many.

However, a tragic accident in Missouri in August 2010 where two people died and 38 others were injured brings the problem of texting while driving and distracted driving into the limelight in a negative way. A pickup truck ran into the back of a truck-tractor that had slowed due to an active construction zone. The pickup truck, in turn, was struck from behind by a school bus. That school bus was then hit by a second school bus that had been following.

The pickup driver who was texting while driving sent and received 11 text messages in the 11 minutes before the accident. The last text was received seconds before the pickup struck the truck-tractor.

This is an example of one tragedy, there are far more all caused by drivers texting while driving or talking on cell phones.

In the past 20 years, there has been widespread growth of cell phone usage. Globally, 77 percent of the world’s population is mobile phone subscribers and in the United States, that percentage is even higher.

With entitlement must come responsibility not lack of common sense and disregard for personal and collective safety.

Who will protest the ban?

• People who use their motor vehicles as offices
• People who use their cars to orchestrate social lives • People who dislike government regulation • Cell phone companies – less drive time equals diminished usage; time is money

The National Transportation Safety Board has its work cut out. Some states have not banned cell phones so an entire nation coming together as one on any topic seems to be insurmountable.

In the meantime, shut off your cell phone and stop texting while driving.

If you or a loved one has suffered at the hands of a reckless distracted driver, please contact Anapol Weiss, Pennsylvania car accident attorneys helping victims of distracted drivers at (866) 735-2792.

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