Is America More Concerned About Texting and Driving Than Drunk Driving?

Posted on December 09, 2017 in Uncategorized


Is America more concerned about texting and driving than drunk driving? One recent study suggests that. However, law enforcement and politicians have not raised their level of concern to that of the public's. Why is that? The answer should be pretty obvious. Police Departments will not get bigger budgets because they need more officers out on the streets to bust those texters. Politicians will not get more votes by pounding on their chest and demanding tougher texting and driving laws. No, DUI still remains a political hot button, one that the government will use to increase budgets and decrease civil liberties. Yet the most recent studies suggest that texting while driving is far more dangerous than drunk driving. This is not to say that impaired drivers do not pose a significant safety risk to the public. Further, this is not meant to argue that we should not concentrate resources to keep our roads safe from impaired drivers. But why is the government not willing to shell out more dollars to prevent a problem where statistics show, without a doubt, that this is causing carnage on the roadway.

Texting while driving has now replaced DUI as the #1 cause of injury and death to teenagers on the roadway. And the problem is not unique to that age group. Nearly 47% of adults admit to texting and driving as well. A recent study by AAA suggests that public concern over texting and driving has now replaced DUI as what is perceived as the primary safety issue on our roadways. 39 states have banned texting and driving, yet most of them only treat it as a civil infraction, punishable by a small fine. Druing that same time, nearly every state has increased DUI penalties to include mandatory jail time, license suspension and ignition interlocks for even first time offenders. Worse yet, since 1982 the proportion of alcohol-related traffic crash deaths has dropped 52%, and are now at historic lows But the proportion of traffic accident

fatalities that are NOT alcohol-related has jumped 78% during the same time. What is the leading cause of this huge swell in non-alcohol related traffic fatalities? You guessed it, distracted drivers. And the #1 culprit for this increase in distracted drivers, their cell phone. The study linked to this article suggests that texting while driving is 6 times more dangerous than drinking and driving. This is not to say that impaired driving is not dangerous, it most certainly is. But more resources need to be allocated to preventing texting while driving if we are really to believe that government is truly looking out for our safety on the roadway. Its time to wake up and realize that why we have waged a war on impaired driving and for good reason, we are losing the roadway safety war overall and will continue to do so until the government looks at its own statistics and does something about it.

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