Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A culture of driving distracted

Even though text messaging while driving is outlawed in most states (including Louisiana, and you can read the language of that law HERE), the amount of texting while driving continues to increase in this country, according to a new study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Texting while driving is one of the many forms of distracted driving, and research by the NHTSA reveals that distracted driving is as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. And yet distracted driving is not treated with the same seriousness that drunk driving is.

Immediacy swirls around our culture; we feel that because we have the technology to do things faster than ever before that we should be doing things faster than ever before, that if we get a text message or an e-mail that we should respond to it as fast as possible, because that's what is expected. And though vehicles are constantly being manufactured to be safer, drivers compensate by driving more and more recklessly.

Bans and law enforcement aren't having an impact on distracted driving. I think this is because of our mentality - we're annoyed by other drivers texting when they don't notice the light has turned green or when they're swerving in and out of lanes at 70 miles an hour, and yet we continue to text while we drive because we all think, "But I'm not the problem, it's everyone else. I'm a great driver, after all!" The problem, of course, is that every person thinks this. It has to stop. No text message can be worth endangering yourself on the road and endangering the lives of others. Let your friends and family know that you don't text while you drive, so that they can expect to wait a while before receiving a response from you.

You can learn more about distracted driving at the web site of the NHTSA and at Distraction.gov.

by John W. Redmann
Attorney for the Injured and Others who once trusted Insurers©
and Matt Stokes
Co-Author and Online Editor at Redmann Law


  1. We should all make a promise to ourselves to place our phones out of hand's reach so that we aren't tempted to look at the latest text or tweet or any alert while driving. If we would all make a conscious effort to check messages only while parked, we could all help make the change. I'm ashamed to say that I am guilty of distracted driving but blue tooth in my car has really helped. No one really intends on injuring anyone, but it happens - OFTEN...

  2. I think the current regulations are reasonable. However, drivers who want to circumvent the laws will find a way to do so, whether it's by fiddling around on their ipad or whatnot. It's ultimately up to the driver to regulate their own behavior.