The current statistics don’t lie – texting and driving is a serious problem with deadly consequences. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting behind the wheel is more dangerous than driving drunk and the prevalence of smartphones has made this a national issue.
16 Americans die each day as a direct result of texting and driving. Unfortunately, drivers can’t seem to keep their hands off their phones. Whether it’s sending a message, checking email, or scrolling through Facebook, it is no longer a shock to see the driver next to you hunched over a screen instead of watching the road.
Given the gravity of this problem, it would be right to assume that states are responding in kind. In reality, this is far from the truth. Many states still don’t have any laws which ban texting and driving and those that do make it easy for offenders to persist. California fines drivers just $20 for texting and Florida comes in slightly higher at $30. Alaska is currently the only state that is taking the texting and driving crisis seriously. Those who are caught are fined $10,000.
Is there a viable solution to the problem?
Smartphones aren’t dying out – they continue growing in number. From 2008 to 2015, the number of smartphones throughout the world increased by 800 percent. Clearly a solution must be found or people will keep paying the price. But is there one?
It appears there might be. Several companies, Apple included, are developing software and devices that prevent drivers from accessing certain capabilities on their phone, like texting, email, and surfing the web. But some believe that it is time for the NHTSA to stand up for what’s right and enact specific safety features that eliminate texting and driving altogether.
Each year, texting and driving kills an average of 5,800 American citizens, double the lives that were lost in the September 11 terrorist attacks. An additional 330,000 individuals are injured annually as a result and many lives are just never the same.
At Cohn & Swartzon, P.C., we believe in doing all that we can to fight for those injured by negligent drivers. Until texting and driving is no longer a problem, we are committed to representing victims and their families. If you were injured in an accident caused by a texting driver, get in touch with our Orange County car accident attorney right away.