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Text-Messaging An Epidemic

Text-Messaging An Epidemic
Various Studies Show Texting While Driving Is Epidemic

 
When it comes to teen driving, put the danger of text-messaging while driving right up there with drunken driving as Public Enemies No. 1 and 1A on the nation's roads.
According to SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, instant and text messaging while driving leads the list as the biggest distraction while driving.
The study, released in July 2007 and conducted with more than 900 teens from 26 high schools nationwide, revealed that text-messaging while driving is becoming as dangerous as drinking and driving, in terms of inhibiting a teen’s driving abilities.
Yet even while 37 percent of teens rated text messaging while driving as “extremely” or “very” distracting, they continue to send and receive text messaging in their moving vehicles anyway, the study reported.

Law Enforcement Concerns
Alarmingly, 46 percent of teens admitted that those who drive distracted are text-messaging, according to a AAA study which appeared in Seventeen magazine's August 2007 issue.

"Texting while driving is a serious public health issue," says Ed Smith, a senior analyst with the Delray Beach Police Department in Delray Beach, Florida, in an interview October 12, 2007. "Law enforcement is concerned about how to enforce bans on text-messaging in the car.
"Police are hard pressed to enforce seat beats. They're also concerned about taking those resources away from preventing and solving other serious crimes."
Meanwhile, the crash statistics surrounding distractions in vehicles, such as cellphone use, are growing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that distracted drivers account for almost 80% of all crashes and 65% of near-crashes in the United States. (April 20, 2006)
While most states have adopted or are adopting legislation around teen driving, the restrictions of teen driving laws vary from state to state.

Teen Driving Guidelines
Based on the extensive research over the past seven years, SADD and Liberty Mutual have set forth a number of guidelines for families – including preventing cell phone use in the car.
Interestingly, 52 percent of teens who say their parents are unlikely to follow through on punishment if they drive and text-message will continue to do -- compared to only 36 percent of teens who believe their parents would penalize them, according to the SADD/Liberty Mutual study.
Not surprisingly, the study also reports the biggest influence on how teens drive is their parents. Almost two-thirds of high school teens say their parents talk on a cell phone while driving; almost half say their parents speed; and almost a third say their parents don't wear a safety belt.

Cellphone Jamming a Solution?
“Certainly parents need to model good driving habits and states need to ban text-messaging if we’re going to prevent some of the horrific traffic accidents we’re seeing out there right now,” says Smith.
“But the most effective way to prevent many of these accidents from happening would be the installation of some kind of cellphone jamming technology in automobiles. Unfortunately, it’s illegal in the U.S. – although lawmakers may be forced to take another look at this if we're going to change the behavior of our teens.”

Source: www.suite101.com

 

Global , Traffic Safety

Date: 6/4/2010 3:00:09 PM

By: YASA WEB , YASA
 
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