Teens and their parents are texting fanatics. That’s what a recent study shows. And it’s getting worse.
A report by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project indicates that one out of four (25%) of American cellphone-owning teens ages 16 to 17 text while driving, and “almost half of Americans ages 12 to 17 say they’ve been in cars with someone who texted while behind the wheel,” according to a Washington Post report.
Not surprisingly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that the rate of distracted-driving deaths is highest among drivers below 20 years old. According to the Post report, “The administration said that 5,870 people died and about 515,000 were injured last year in accidents attributed to distracted driving. Twice as many fatalities, 11,773, were attributed to drunken driving.”
Of course, the actual number of accidents caused by texting is likely much higher than what is reported since it is much harder to detect whether someone was texting at the time of the collision.
We need tougher laws that meaningfully punish those who make conscious decisions to distract themselves while placing their own lives and the lives of other in great danger. Tougher laws will also deter would-be texters from doing so behind the wheel. And parents need to set better examples. If your child sees you text (or use your hand-held phone, or eat) while driving, then he or she will believe it is fine to act so selfishly and dangerously.
Here’ s a link to a graphic public service video shown in Britain. It shows a terrible car crash. The at-fault driver was texting, got distracted, and killed someone. This video has been widely viewed on the internet, but it has had little impact on teen driving habits.
I hope teens, and Americans of all ages, learn quickly how dangerous it is to drive while being distracted. If they don’t, more tragic deaths and serious injuries will result.
We encourage our readers to be active in your community to foster change. Your voices are strong. Be heard. Educate your children and fight for tougher laws so that our American roadways can be safer for all people.
About the author:
Mr. Zambri is a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a “Big Gun” and among the “top 1%” of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as “one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers” who specializes in personal injury matters, including serious truck and car collisions. He has successfully litigated numerous cases against distracted drivers of tractor-trailers, other trucks, and cars. Mr. Zambri has also been named a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2009)–a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.
Mr. Zambri has authored an article regarding how automobile collision cases are evaluated. To read it, please click here.
Many Americans are killed or critically injured each year in vehicular collisions. If you want more information about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at [email protected] or call him at 202-822-1899.