It’s always a tragedy when someone texting on the phone while driving hits another car head-on. The death that occurs was always avoidable.
The whole point of texting and driving is to keep in touch with others. The irony is that we used to be able to do that just fine with a phone used at home or at work. There is no need to chat while driving. Nothing — repeat nothing — is important enough to risk your own life and the lives of others by texting while driving. It appears Oklahoma may be getting with the ban texting while driving movement by dedicating an entire week to this issue.
In fact, there is a new rally cry, or war cry if you will, that calls for stopping texting, to stop the horrific wrecks that happen as a result of this dangerous driving habit. Think about these figures for a moment before blowing off the notion that this article does not apply to you, or anyone else you may know. On average, a texting driver glances down at their phone for five seconds for every text sent or read. Let’s say their speed is 40 mph. In those five seconds, they will travel at least 300 feet, which is the length of a football field. Those five seconds of inattention kill. It’s been proven, time and time again. When does it stop?
Nationwide statistics show that more than 3,000 people died, and just about half a million were injured, as a result of accidents caused by distracted drivers. These figures don’t include the close calls, the near misses when someone manages to avoid an accident, and discovers when they look at the other driver, that they have a cell phone in their hand – or worse yet – they were texting themselves when driving.
There are 39 states that currently ban texting while driving in some form or another, but there are still a few states, and Oklahoma is one of them, that don’t have a single sentence in their laws relating to distracted driving. For some reason, although the idea seems to garner support, the law never comes to pass, and people keep on dying for no good reason, other than they wanted to make sure their friends knew about a party that night.
Of interest is the groundswell of youth speaking out about the dangers of texting and driving. In Oklahoma alone, just about 94 percent of teens want a law banning distracted driving, and close to 84 percent of adults agree. So where is the law? It seems those that live in Oklahoma have a deep down dislike of the government telling them what to do, and they aren’t the only state where people hold similar views.
Those good citizens have a right to feel that way. Personal liberty is a precious thing, and it may be that instead of implementing more new laws on top of the existing laws, it is time to consider that current laws against driving while distracted are sufficient as they stand. The government may need to step back and find a happy medium to make the situation work.
Charlie Donahue is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. To learn more about New Hampshire injury attorney, Charlie Donahue, visit Donahuelawfirm.com.