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Texting While Driving Continues To Be A Problem For Drivers Around The World
February 23, 2017
Liz Marks wants you to stop texting while you're driving.
The 21-year-old Maryland woman's life changed in 2012 when she was involved in an automobile accident while responding to a text message from her mother. According to the Daily Mail, Marks' accident left her blind and severely disabled. Marks and her mother have both since become advocates against using the phone while driving.
There's a good reason for Marks and her mother to be concerned. According to the National Safety Council, a minimum of 341,000 U.S. car accidents were caused by texting in the 2013. Cell phone activity (which includes talking on the phone, not just texting) contributed to an estimated 26 percent of all car accidents.
The texting problem is not just an American concern, however. European safe-driving advocate organization Responsible Young Drivers asked drivers in Brussels to complete a challenge — pass a driving test while texting. The drivers quickly learned that navigating a test course was next to impossible while sending a text message.
Nobody was hurt in the Responsible Young Drivers test because the experiment was held on a closed course. Still, countless drivers continue to text on the road.
The United States has responded by creating laws against cell phone use while driving. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, all but two states — Arizona and Montana — have restrictions on texting and driving.
To Marks and her mother, the U.S. government's stance on texting while driving might seem like a success. But a 2014 report from the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine reports that increased regulations have not resulted in safer streets. The problem, it seems, isn't as simple as raising awareness.
In a 2014 survey by the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, 98 percent of drivers stated they viewed texting while driving as "dangerous," yet 70 percent admitted to sending or reading a text while the car was in motion.
If regulation and awareness can't solve the problem of distracted driving, perhaps more direct action will. Apple, Android, and Blueberry phones sold through AT&T come with AT&T DriveMode, which shuts off notifications to your phone if you're traveling faster than 15 mph.
§ Responsible Young Drivers - RYD.BE, NSC, NCBI, ATT DriveMode, and Center For Internet And Technology Addiction