There were 800 billion text messages sent in 2008, according to the Strategic Mirror Report. This increased by four times compared to 2006. If we continue on this trajectory, we’ll hit one trillion text messages by 2010.
Texting in-and-of itself is fine; a great advancement in mobile phone technology. However, I’m extremely concerned a large quantity of these soon-to-be-trillion texts will be made behind the wheel of a car. Take a survey the next time you pull to a red light at a major intersection-chances are more than half of the drivers are talking on their cell with it held to their ear, or they are looking down at the PDA or blackberry.
Driving and texting is extremely dangerous. In fact, it’s 23 times more dangerous, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. There are even studies showing it’s just as risky as drinking and driving.
Even more terrifying is the fact that young drivers are the most prone to text and drive. As the father of two teenagers, this is what worries me. Even if my kids are responsible and restrain themselves from texting and driving, there could be an irresponsible driver on the road looking down at their 3G IPhone texting away and not realizing they are putting people’s lives at risk.
Virginia passed a law restricting texting while driving. Specifically, a driver is fined $20 if a police officer discovers them texting and driving, but the officer needs to pull the driver over for another infraction (i.e. speeding, running a red light, failing to use a turn signal, etc.).
I hope these laws become stricter in the near future. Texting is becoming standard practice in our society, and will be second nature to the next generation. We need to instill in our teens and young adults that texting while driving is simply unacceptable. Our law firm has written a complete Free Report on the epidemic of "distracted driving" which includes some surprising statistics and facts about the distraction epidemic.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.