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Texting While Driving – 3x more likely to kill than DUI!

Posted by Bill Sluben on September 22, 2009

Don't do it!

Don't do it!

The Federal Government and State Leaders need to get together on uniform and harsh legislation on motorists who text while driving…and soon.  Casualties are mounting across the country as younger drivers (read:  teens) are doing more texting than driving on the nation’s busiest highways.

Utah is stepping up.  Leading the charge at the state level, Utah has passed the sternest of all state laws banishing texting and driving.   The new law, which took effect in May, penalizes a texting driver who causes a fatality as harshly as a drunken driver who kills someone. In effect, a crash caused by such a multitasking motorist is no longer considered an “accident” like one caused by a driver who, say, runs into another car because he nodded off at the wheel. Instead, such a crash would now be considered inherently reckless.

Matt Richtel of The New York Times reported on August 28th that “studies show that talking on a cellphone while driving is as risky as driving with a .08 blood alcohol level — generally the standard for drunken driving — and that the risk of driving while texting is at least twice that dangerous. Research also shows that many people are aware that the behavior is risky, but they assume others are the problem.”

A very weak argument is made that at least the drivers who have had a few too many drinks are focused and intent on driving the very best that they can…mainly because they are concerned that they will get pulled over by the police.  Drivers who text are not worried about that threat.

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