The High Risks of Texting while Driving
The charge has become commonplace: “Don’t text and drive.” When you hear those words, you most likely get the picture of a person behind the wheel of a car, cellphone in one hand, eyes and attention off the road and on the text. But an appeals court in New Jersey ruled on August 27, 2013, that those who send a text to a driver they know to be behind the wheel could also be held liable if the recipient of the text causes a crash. That’s a new twist.
In the New Jersey case, two teenagers were texting – one in his car and one at home. They sent each other 62 texts that day before the accident, according to court documents. Does that sound odd to you? It isn’t. According to a September 2012 CNN report, Americans ages 18 to 29 send and receive an average of nearly 88 text messages per day, compared to 17 phone calls. The non-profit CTIA found that 171.3 billion text messages are sent in the US every month. And, of course, teens aren’t the only ones who text; 77% of teens have admitted to watching their parents text and drive.