Just how serious of an issue is texting on the road? A 2011 piece from The Associated Press points to a significant increase in such behavior for the 21 to 24 set. Roughly half of all drivers in this age group, the piece pointed out, have sent a text or email while driving. What’s even more concerning is, the dangerous nature of this activity does not seem to cross their minds.
Texting and similar forms of distracted driving are six times more dangerous than driving drunk, in fact. Elaborating on this issue, the AP piece cited a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study performed last year that showed one in 100 drivers – regardless of age – are texting, emailing, surfing the web, or using an electronic device. This figure is a 50-percent increase from 2010 findings. That year, as well, more than 3,000 crash-related deaths resulted from distracted driving.
Trantolo & Trantolo has been contributing to this awareness with the I-Promise Pledge. Recently, students at Coventry High School took the pledge, which involves a promise to not drive distracted, especially texting behind the wheel.
Connecticut is one state, of many, that now fines motorists for using a hand-held device – talking on a cell phone and texting are both included. States adopting such laws have seen a drastic uptick in ticketing over the past year. Over the past year in New York, Newsday.com pointed out, tickets for this violation increased four-fold, going from 4,569 to 20,958.
How useful are these bans, though? Utah news website KSL.com stated, in October 2012, that texting-related accidents have, in fact, gone up in three-quarters of states with bans. A greater chance of getting into an accident is not the only concern for texting drivers; insurance companies, once realizing a pattern of texting-related accidents, will increase a driver’s premiums.