Original publication Jan 12, 2015 (*Updated)
It can be very tempting to look at that new text message that is just waiting to be read on your phone while you are driving. The constant need to be connected creates a strong desire to check your phone, even if you know it’s the wrong thing to do. Texting while driving is a lethal combination because it involves three different distractions: visual, manual and cognitive. The following facts about texting and driving are alarming:
Should texting while driving have penalties similar to DUI? Different states have different legislature about texting while driving. Arizona has very loose laws compared to nearly all other states in regards to preventing texting while driving. Although texting while driving is illegal in Phoenix’s city limits, it isn’t illegal statewide. In Phoenix, drivers are prohibited from text messaging and can face fines up to $250. Texting while driving is also illegal in Tucson.
Looking at the Governors Highway Safety Association there are only four states that have not placed a ban on texting and driving as of May 2016. These include Arizona, Missouri, Montana, and Texas. Considering the continued catastrophic results caused by texting and driving it makes one wonder why Arizona and the other three remaining states have not implemented this law. If you review the photo below you will see that the only ban for Arizona is for school bus drivers.
According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS), approximately 10% of the total amount of crashes in Arizona in 2015 were caused by distracted drivers. This equates to 2,729 distracted driving accidents for this short period of time.
If you want to help yourself or someone you care about to stop texting while driving, here are some tips:
Parents of teenage drivers must set a good example and not use a phone while driving. Teenagers are the highest at-risk group being affected by the dangers of texting while driving as they are inexperienced on the road and may have more distractions. 77% of young adults are very or somewhat confident that they can safely text while driving. Texting while driving is a growing trend and quickly becoming one of the country’s top killers. The numbers don’t lie – every day 11 teenagers lose their lives because of texting while driving.
Let’s take the pledge to stop texting while driving.