Friday, July 2, 2010

More State Texting-Bans Go Into Effect this Month

There is no doubt that distracted driving is a serious issue with the U.S. Department of Transportation reporting that nearly 6,000 deaths and 500,000 injuries were the result of distraction related accidents in 2008. Six states will put texting-while-driving bans into effect this month with the aim of curbing this dangerous distraction while many states already have some type of ban in place. Legislation is a step in the right direction but it’s unclear just how effective it’s been so far in deterring behavior, especially given the penalty for being caught texting is as low as $20 in some states. However, the incentive to stop texting-while-driving shouldn’t be to avoid a fine or even obey the law. The true incentive is protecting the lives everyone on the road – passengers, pedestrians, other drivers and of course yourself. Our 2009 TSC Index found that 35% of people felt less safe on the road than they did five years ago. The main reason cited was distracted driving. We can all help make our roads safer by taking responsibility for our behavior behind the wheel and putting down the phone because it’s the smart thing to do.

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