The Governors Highway Safety Association is calling for a ban on texting on while driving, which is a move that seems a no-brainer, but as with cell phone use while driving, this sensible idea has proven difficult to enact into effective legislation.
Studies have shown that texting while driving -- if not merely walking or riding a bicycle -- is at least as dangerous as driving drunk. Cell phone use while in the driver's seat of a hurtling vehicle can't be too far behind in terms of dangerousness.
In addition, there have been some spectacular crashes attributed to cell phone use or texting -- in private vehicles, large trucks, and even in trains. Yet legislators at the state and federal level seem reluctant or incapable of enacting laws that put a serious dent in either practice.
While driving, just count the number you still see on the phone or with something propped up at eye level against the steering wheel. Despite the well-known risks, people in a hurry just do it.
It could be, however, that trying to ban phone use and texting while driving is not the way to go. Nor is the notion of fines for such behavior. But how about instituting an especially serious criminal charge for drivers who do this and have accidents? Something along the lines of charges relating to drinking and driving resulting in an accident, injuries or deaths.
Since it is possible to determine whether a phone was in use prior to an accident, this type of charge might make the vast majority of ultra-connecteddriversthink about pulling over when they just have to send or receive a message. It might be a message they receive loud and clear.