Our law firm continues its campaign against texting while driving, sponsoring an annual Text Free Texas scholarship contest for students in 10th to 12th grades at selected area high schools. Is texting or using a cell phone while driving really that dangerous? It appears that some teens, at least don’t think so.
Let’s look at some numbers for the answer.
- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), traffic deaths of all types are the leading cause of death among teens in the United States. And although the number of deaths from distracted driving is declining, thanks to national and local awareness campaigns, the number of injuries is growing.
- For example, between 1012 and 2013, there was a 6.7 percent reduction in the number of traffic deaths caused by texting. During the same period, there was a slight increase of around one percent in the number of injuries resulting from the use of hand-held devices in motor vehicles. While small, the number is clearly going in the wrong direction.
- And young drivers are among the biggest culprits. Ten percent of drivers under age 20 who were involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted at the time of the accident. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers involved in fatal accidents who were distracted.
- According to a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, using a hand-held device increases the risk of being involved in a crash three-fold.
- A report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed that being distracted is a factor in six out of ten traffic accidents.
Although the statistics vary, depending on when and how they were compiled, the bottom line is very clear. Using hand-held devices while driving causes accidents, injuries and deaths.
Many Resources Available To Help End Distracted Driving
The number of organizations working to stop distracted driving and the deaths and injuries that accompany it continues to grow. Some examples include:
- TheCDC ,which has its ownweb pageon distracted driving
- TheDistracted Driving Foundation, which is entirely dedicated to ending distracted driving
- The U.S. government, which has a complete website dedicated to preventing distracted driving
- PADD, or People Against Distracted Driving, operated in New Jersey by the NikkiKellenyiFoundation in memory ofa NJteen who died while texting
- Texas A & M Transportation Institute and the Center for Transportation Safety operate a jointwebsitethat publicizes issues that include distracted driving
- Texas EMS Trauma & Acute Care Foundation (TETAF), a non-profit focused in strengthening emergency services in Texas has its own web page devoted to distracted driving called Just Drive
Organizations like these and other local, state and national resources exist to get the word out and encourage drivers, especially teen drivers, to save a life – either their own life or another person’s. And our law firm, Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, is part of this effort, sponsoring its own Text Free Texas distracted driving scholarship event to raise awareness and reward teens who drive safely.