We see it every day, don’t we? You’re driving down the interstate at 70 mph and you look over at the man you’re passing who is busily typing away with his right hand while steering with his left and, occasionally, checking the roadway in front of him. Or, the young woman on the far side of the intersection tapping her iPhone while the light is red, then continuing to tap as the light turns green and she proceeds, glancing up every few seconds to gauge the traffic. Texting and driving is fast becoming a major factor in car accident injuries and fatalities.
Texting and Driving More Dangerous Than Drink Driving
Car and Driver Magazine tested drivers’ reaction time in hitting their brakes when sober, legally drunk at .08, reading an e-mail and sending a text. The results are startling:
- Unimpaired: 0.54 seconds to brake
- Legally drunk: Add 4 feet
- Reading email: Add 36 feet
- Sending a text: Add 70 feet
US Department of Transportation statistics indicate that a driver is 23 times more likely to be involved in a car accident when texting and driving.
Texting and Driving is Illegal in Louisiana
States are fighting back, though. Louisiana is now one of 39 states that have made texting and driving a “primary” offense. A primary offense is one that allows an officer to stop and ticket you without witnessing another violation. In other words, if an officer sees you texting and driving, he can ticket you. In Louisiana, your first offense will be a $175 fine and can increase up to $500 thereafter.
Commit to Quit Texting and Driving
Keep distracted driving to a minimum by downloading AT&T’s DriveMode App for Android and Blackberry (coming soon to iPhone). When activated, if the vehicle is going 25 mph or faster, the app will automatically send a message stating that you are driving and will respond later. Be smart – commit to quit texting and driving!