California State Officials reported recently that the number of drivers texting while driving has increased by 39% in the last year. In total, 9% of all drivers were observed texting while driving during an annual state sponsored street study. It is widely agreed that texting while driving is a lethal combination.
This report was released 2 days after a driver suspected of texting while driving veered off the road in the 3400 block of Edison Avenue and killed a 33 year old man and injuring his 8 year old son both of whom were on bikes in a bike lane. Office of Transportation Safety Spokesman Chris Cochran said "We know people actively texting can take their eyes off the roadway for 5 seconds or more and it is so easy to drift from your lane and cause tragedies like this." The study referenced was conducted between February and April 2015 using street observers at 130 sites.
OTS says that the increase can be explained in part because Smart Phones have become such an integral part of our lives and people want to believe that they can multitask behind the wheel when the evidence proves otherwise. In fact, interviews with users say they know it is dangerous for most but they think they can handle it. In April 46,000 tickets were issued for driving while using a call phone. The NHTSA estimates that 80 percent of all car crashes are as a result of driver inattention.
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