Distracted Driving Remains Rampant in the U.S.

Distracted Driving Remains Rampant in the U.S.It’s a rare occurrence to find anyone in the U.S. who believes texting while driving is an acceptable activity, however those who practice what they preach are a little harder to come by.

From Arizona to Connecticut, the number of car crashes linked to texting while driving – or to any other distractions – is on the rise, prompting many legislators to draft laws banning texting while driving and even the use of cell phones at all while operating a vehicle. And despite the known dangers and numerous examples of car accidents involving texting, many do it anyway.

According to Reuters, a recent poll showed that while most teen drivers say they know texting while driving is dangerous, 50 percent continue to do it. Another 75 percent said the action is common among friends, and that their parents text and drive as frequently as they do.

The poll, performed by AT&T, was the second in one week that sought to expose how teens feel about distracted driving. In the previous survey, conducted by Consumer Reports, eight out of 10 said they knew the risks of distracted driving, but 29 percent said they had text messaged while behind the wheel in the past month.

Texting has become the most common form of communication among teens, who average more than 3,400 texts per month, indicating the problem could be far from over.

“We know that underreporting is always an issue, and even so we’re seeing staggeringly high numbers of teens who admit to texting and driving,” said Andrea Brands, AT&T’s director of consumer safety and education.

In an example of the implications of texting and driving, a teenage driver in Connecticut was recently arrested after allegedly hitting and killing a jogger while sending a text message, The Associated Press reports.

According to the news source, the accident, which resulted in the death of 44-year-old Kenneth Dorsey and the criminal charges against the 16-year-old driver, may compel Connecticut lawmakers to develop measures that would keep teenagers from operating their phones while driving.

The girl, from New Canaan, was charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle on Saturday following the March incident. Police say an investigation showed the girl was using the phone’s keypad in the moments before Dorsey was struck.

“There’s no reason to use a phone while you’re driving a car,” Leo Dorsey told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “There is nothing out there that important. I totally, totally have to believe that these phones can be made to shut off if they’re moving. I’m pushing for phones that don’t work when they’re moving.”

The accident is providing new fodder for advocates of laws that would ban texting while driving altogether, which is occurring in states all over the country.

In Arizona, two people have died after a crash in Phoenix was found to be caused by distracted driving, ABC News 15 reports.

The media outlet states 37-year-old Toby J. Greenbank has died from injuries he suffered in a crash on Monday, May 14. Police say Greenbank was driving the minivan on 7th Street when he allegedly veered into oncoming traffic, hitting a 2002 Jeep head-on. The driver of the Jeep also suffered serious injuries, however he is expected to recover.

Initial investigations show Greenbank was potentially distracted just before the accident, as evidence shows he may have been working on his laptop at the time, trying to locate the address of his destination.