The Dangers Of Texting And Driving

Which illegal driver would you rather meet on a dark roadway?  A drunk driver or someone sending a text message?  Drunk drivers are the worst, right?  Nope.  Texting and driving, because of the distractions it causes the driver, including taking eyes off the road and removing hands from the steering wheel, has a far greater potential to cause a motorcycle or car accident resulting in personal injury or death.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has compiled some eye-opening statistics from various sources.   Forbes contends that texting and driving kills eleven teens every day, leads to 330,000 injuries per year, and is six times more dangerous than drunk driving.

The Federal Communications Commission also tracks information regarding distracted driving, including text messaging.  The FCC reports that the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.  Further, eleven percent of drivers aged 18 to 20 who were involved in an automobile accident and survived admitted they were sending or receiving texts when they crashed.  Car and Driver magazine has even road-tested reaction times for braking when driving 70 mph under certain driver conditions.  Car and Driver found that the slowest reaction time was caused by texting.

Iowa law prohibits cellphone use for teen drivers with intermediate or restricted licenses.  Iowa law is secondary enforced for adults, but primary enforced for teen drivers, meaning law enforcement can stop teen drivers solely for texting while driving, while adults cannot be stopped solely for texting and may be ticketed for texting only after being stopped for another offense (secondary enforcement).

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