As we know, texting while driving is extremely dangerous and should never be practiced. Thousands of deaths and accidents across the country, and right here in Portsmouth, have put us, and our loved ones in danger. Naturally, a texting ban seems like the common-sense solution to an everyday problem; however, a texting ban is not only impractical, but actually increases accidents.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety conducted research comparing accidents in four states related to texting before and after the ban. Texting-related accidents rose significantly in three of the four states after the ban was enacted. The reasoning is, before the ban, drivers held the phone while texting, at or above the steering wheel. After the ban, to avoid being seen by law enforcement, drivers held the phone at their waste. This takes the driver’s attention even further off the road, thus, drastically causing more accidents.
Another problem with the texting ban is that it is impractical. Only personal responsibility and educating our friends and family about the dangers of texting while driving can truly stop people from doing it, not the government. One problem is law enforcement knowing the difference between if one is texting or dialing a phone number/surfing the Internet. Another problem is, if there is a ban on texting, should there be a ban on putting make-up on, using your GPS, reading a book, using a map, eating one’s fast food, fixing your hair, turning on the radio, yelling at your kids, etc? These are all things that cause wrecks, and we are all guilty of doing at one time or another. It is impractical to pick and choose which of these is more dangerous than the other, and practical to accept personal responsibility for yourself and your family by practicing safe driving, and not just because the state or city says so.
In sum, enacting a texting while driving law is hazardous and impractical. Please educate our officials of the dangers and unfeasibility of a texting while driving ban.