The popularity of mobile devices has had some unintended and even dangerous consequences. We now know that mobile communications are linked to a signifi cant increase in distracted driving, resulting in injury and loss of life. Distracted driving kills an estimated 9 people and injures hundreds of others each day in the United States.
For this reason, many states have banned the use of cell phones and/ or texting. Washington became the fi rst state to pass a texting ban in 2007. In just eight years, 46 states have enacted ‘texting while driving’ bans; the most recent being the state of Oklahoma. On May 5, 2015 Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill to prohibit texting while driving. The law goes into effect on November 1, 2015, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
There are three main types of driver distraction:
• Visual: taking your eyes off the road
• Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
• Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that distracted driving can include additional activities besides cell phone usage, such as eating and using a vehicle navigation system. While any of these distractions can endanger the driver and others, texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distractions.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration prohibits texting by all commercial motor vehicle drivers while operating in interstate commerce and imposes sanctions, including civil penalties and disqualification from driving, for drivers who fail to comply with this rule.
A motor vehicle can be a dangerous thing if it is operated by a driver who is distracted by texting and talking on a handheld device. Commit today to do your part to help keep our Nation’s roadways safe.