Don’t text and drive
In the U.S., text messaging is prohibited for all drivers in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Likewise, the same applies to novice drivers in Texas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Missouri. A study analyzed and examined the impact of texting-while-driving laws. Published in the August issue of the American Journal of Public Health, researchers at the University of Alabama Birmingham School of Public Health found out that states with texting while driving laws had lower traffic fatalities. According to its head researcher, Alva Ferdinand, primary texting bans were associated with a 3% reduction in traffic fatalities among all age groups. In addition, Ferdinand said that texting while driving bans were more effective in reducing traffic-related fatalities among young drivers, while handheld bans are considered most effective for adults.
Kentucky texting law
In Kentucky, cell phone and text messaging laws are considered primary laws. This means that a police officer can stop and cite you for an observed violation. Police don't have to see you do another violation, such as speeding, to cite you. Presently, Kentucky implements texting ban to all drivers and cell phone ban to drivers younger than 18. However, handheld bans are not restricted in Kentucky.
Colorado texting while driving accident
A Colorado woman was impaled through her buttocks after an accident that she admitted took place because she was texting and driving. Christina Jahnz hit a guardrail pole that went through her car. The pole pierced her thigh and buttocks. Elizabeth, Colorado firefighters had to saw part of the pole off to get her out. Jahnz said that she was driving away from her daughter’s school when she started texting her friend. She did a voice text and looked down to make sure it was all right. However, when she looked up, it was too late. She had hit the pole and her airbags had been deployed.
Jahnz was rushed to Parker Adventist Hospital where she went into surgery and had more than 40 stitches. After a four-day stay, she was released from the hospital. She had a full recover with the help of a walker. Jahnz said that this accident made her learn a lesson that she will never forget. She hopes her story will help save the lives of others. She added, “Don’t text and drive.”
- In 2011, 1.3 million crashes involved cell phones. During the same year, 3,360 were killed in distraction-affected crashes.
- In 2012, the number of people killed in distraction-related crashes decreased to 3,328.
- According to the AAA Foundation in-car study published in 2012, teen drivers were distracted almost a quarter of the time they were behind the wheel.
- UMTRI revealed that 20% of teens and 10% of parents admit that they have had a multi-message text conversation while driving.
- In Kentucky, around 53,600 crashes happened in 2012. These accidents were caused by distracted driving, a category that includes use of cell phones.
- Cell phone use causes over one in four car accidents.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I am pleased with the results of the UAB study. I hope that this strengthens the state’s campaign to reduce distraction-affected crashes. Hopefully, this will also lead to more enforcement on texting while driving. Also, I would like to leave you with this reminder - Drive safely. Texting and driving don’t mix.