You’ve probably heard about teens texting and driving, so it may come as a big surprise that the age group most likely to text and drive is not teens, but rather adults. A study by AT& T found that 43% of teens admit to texting while driving, bad enough, but still less than that “more than half” of adults also admit to texting and driving. The same study found that 98% of adults knew texting and driving is wrong, but still do it anyway. In a sign of the times, six in ten of those adults that admit to texting while driving said that they did not do so three years ago.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that distracted driving like texting while driving accounted for 3,477 deaths in 2015, along with 391,000 injuries. This is even as national campaigns like “It Can Wait” by AT&T ask drivers to pledge not to text while driving and states have begun their own campaigns to pass laws and crack down on this dangerous behavior. Researchers found out that you are 23 times more likely to get into an accident with distracted driving.
39 states and the District of Columbia all have laws against texting while driving. In Louisiana, texting while driving isn’t only dangerous, but it’s also illegal. Louisiana Revised Statute 32:300.5 specifies that someone caught texting or using social media while driving can face a fine up to $500 for the first offense and up to $1000 for subsequent offenses. If the person is also involved in a crash at the time of the violation, then that fine doubles.
According to a recent article by NPR, a company named Cellebrite announced they are developing what they call a “textalyzer” – think of a breathalyzer but for texting. With accidents due to distracted driving seeming to increase every year, companies and states have been forced to find ways to determine if someone involved in an accident did so because of illegal distracted driving. Essentially, Cellebrite’s technology could one day allow a police officer to connect the device to someone’s cell phone after an accident, which would read out if the driver was using any apps or swiping on their phone in the moments before the crash. While not on the market yet, states like New York are considering passing laws allowing police officers to potentially use devices like this.
Until then, it seems that maybe the best way to cut down on texting while driving is for adults to lead by example to show teens and children that texting, and distracted driving in general, is dangerous and can lead to accidents and other repercussions under the law.
If you have been injured in an accident by a driver that was texting while driving call Morris Bart today at 800-537-8185 for a free consultation. We can help you get the money you deserve to compensate you for your injuries.