Posts Tagged ‘Motor Vehicle Accidents’

Texting While Driving

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Texting While Driving

Texting while driving is a growing concern in communities across the United States and the world.  In many New York communities from Buffalo to Rochester and to the Bronx, numerous lives have been tragically lost because of texting while driving.

Cellino and Barnes offers this series of blog posts to help grapple with the lingering issues and potential solutions of texting while driving.

Part 1: Overview

One of the leading causes of serious injury and death in America is motor vehicle accidents.  How often do we see distracted drivers behind the wheel? People eating, applying makeup, talking on the phone… there always seems to be some distraction that is inhibiting a driver’s attention. In the last couple of years, a new distraction has arisen: Driving While Texting (DWT).

Under current legislation, the act of driving while texting is defined as: composing, sending, or reading text messages, email, or making similar use of the internet on a mobile device while operating a motor vehicle. The practice is viewed by many authorities as dangerous and has been outlawed or restricted in twenty states and the District of Columbia.

While everybody understands that distracted driving is dangerous, some question how DWT is more dangerous than being distracted by a messy cheeseburger or a hot cup of coffee? Studies show that texting while driving increases the likelihood of accidents and distracted driving. For instance, a study conducted at the University of Utah found a six-fold increase in distraction-related accidents while texting. While a more recent study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute presents the follow facts:

  • Using driving studies of observing long-haul trucks and light vehicles driving 6 million combined miles, researchers observed 4,452 safety-critical incidents, which includes crashes, near-crashes, safety-critical events, and lane deviations
  • 81% of the safety critical events involved some type of driver distraction
  • Text messaging had the greatest relative risk, with drivers being 23 times more likely to experience a safety-critical event when texting.
  • The study also found that drivers typically take their eyes off the forward roadway for an average of four out of six seconds when texting.

All in all, there is conclusive evidence of the dangers of driving while texting.  This post is part 1 of 6, presented by Cellino and Barnes.  Our firm is committed to helping the community deal with the growing problem of texting while driving.