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A plea to drivers: leave your cellphones in your pocket

Last week, we wrote a post about texting while driving and how the charge is a difficult one for the police to process. The police aren’t allowed to just look at someone’s cellphone after an accident to determine if they were texting while driving or using their cellphone while driving. They have to go through an arduous process that takes months to receive the phone records they need to definitively say that a driver was distracted by their cellphone.

That has led to the development of a new device called a “textalyzer” that the police could use to find out if a driver has been using their cellphone without violating any civil rights. Whether this device is as big a breakthrough as it seems, only time will tell.

But while we wait, there are some incredible statistics about distracted driving that should explain why this behavior is so dangerous and scary. 3,179 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents involving distracted drivers in 2014, and another 431,000 people suffered injuries in those accidents. Additionally, 10 percent of drivers aged 15 to 19 that were involved in a fatal crash were distracted; and there are nearly 170 billion texts sent every month in the U.S. and its territories as of Dec. 2014.

Cellphones aren’t going away anytime soon. Texting is entrenched now. It is simply one part of the way we communicate with people. That doesn’t absolve drivers who text — but there are going to be people out there who, sadly, do it.

Source: distraction.gov, “Facts and Statistics,” Accessed May 27, 2016

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