According to a Nationwide Insurance study, about a fifth of drivers text while the drive. That statistic increases to two thirds among drivers aged 18 to 24. Almost 80 percent of car crashes in the United States are caused by distracted drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The evidence points to text messaging as a potentially deadly distraction. In 2007, a car accident involving five teenage girl and a tractor trailer claimed the lives of all five girls. It was later discovered that the driver was texting just before the deadly car crash.
Still, the law has been slow to catch up to this technological development. NHTSA does not have a policy in place regarding text messaging while driving a car. Instead, they leave regulations to state and local agencies. So far, Alaska, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Washington state have laws banning texting while driving. A ban goes into effect in Westchester County, New York next spring.
Of course, text messaging can also be a hazard to pedestrians. Earlier this week, a 14-year old boy in Florida was killed after stepping in front of a car. He was distracted by a text message on his cell phone. The deputy said they have no plans to file charges against the driver.
Driving While Texting Laws Slow To Catch Up To Problem, InjuryBoard.com, September 23, 2008
Teen Killed In Crash While Texting On Phone, WESH.com, September 23, 2008
If you or a family member were injured in a car, train, bus, or bicycle accident as the result of negligence on the part of another party, then our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers can represent you in court.