You do not have to drive very far in Huntsville to find a driver who is pecking out a text message on their phone while they are driving. Often this can be seen as a driver is cruising along at highway speed, glancing up occasionally to see if they are still on the road. As you are certainly aware, studies have indicated that texting while driving is on par with driving drunk in term of the likelihood of causing a serious car accident.
A new proposal in the Alabama legislature would make it the 36th state to ban texting while driving a motor vehicle. The bill would make texting while driving a primary offense, meaning that a police officer would be able to pull a person over solely for the offense, rather that only being able to ticket individuals for texting while driving after already having pulled them over for something else.
Studies indicate that a person who is texting while behind the wheel is 23 times to be involved in what is described as a 'safety-critical event.' This includes fatal crashes, an unintentional swerve out of the driving lane, or a near miss requiring the driver to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision.
If we could get everyone in Alabama to stop texting while behind the wheel it would greatly improve highway safety for everyone. But even drivers who have never glanced at their phones while on the highway can still become distracted and take their eyes or attention off the road leading to a deadly accident.
Source: The Birmingham News "Alabama bill to ban texting while driving will return to Legislature," Kim Chandler, Dec. 30, 2011
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