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Texting Behind the Wheel – Prevalent Among Oklahoma Drivers?

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Do you have a teenage driver in your household? Does your teen have a cell phone? Does your teen like to text? As a parent I can say yes to each of the above. So I can empathize with parents whose hearts race a little bit each time that teen gets behind the wheel. I can empathize with parents who shell out a minor fortune for liability insurance on top of purchasing a car for their youths.

However, I am a little different in that I am also an Oklahoma auto accident lawyer who has represented families of deceased children. So coupled with my experience counseling these families, I can say my anxiety level and fear for my child is immense as she embarks on her life, especially where driving is concerned. So when I came across an article an opinion article by Representative Leftwich this morning in newsok.com this morning detailing her desire to ban texting while driving. In this article she makes a compelling argument stating

some studies have shown that driving while texting can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Imagine barreling down I-35 at 70 miles an hour in traffic with your eyes shut for a five full seconds — maybe longer. Most people would agree that would be terrifying and even insane. But that’s exactly what happens when people text and drive.

I am rather conservative by nature. Ask me what I think about Oklahoma’s current legislature and I can give you a list of companies that might as well have a sponsorship at the Capital, similar to what you would see in naming a stadium. Clear evidence is given this year’s draconian tort reform (aka immunity laws) drafted by and for big insurance and their benefactors while doing absolutely nothing to benefit Oklahomans. I think Oklahomans would be better served by only allowing the legislature to make laws ever three (3) or so years with their duties in the interim only being making a budget.

Sorry for the rant, let’s get back to texting and driving. As stated earlier I am conservative in many areas and frankly do not want more government intrusion in my life. You will not see me favoring mandates for business or individuals alike. Nonetheless, driving is a different beast in my mind. Driving is a privilege afforded by the state and not a right. Accordingly, laws should be implemented banning texting while driving. The studies do not lie about the dangers presented by texting and driving. It seems a misnomer and brings about serious questions for those who do not support this law.

Nonetheless, I would personally welcome any discussion on the topic and would be interested as to what readers have to say.

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  1. Facebook User says:
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    Very big problem across the country and the world—education and legislation may be a good start to make the roads safer– But now there is a Brand New software available that disables text messaging at 10 miles an hour–check out our website at http://www.mywebsafety.com/kidsafe

    Please call or write me if you have any questions–

    Thank you-Wendy Cracchiolo
    602-672-2806
    wendyfcr@aol.com

  2. John Fischer says:
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    The danger by no means stops at texting. Any driver using a cell phone puts themself and others in grave danger. The proper term is inattentive blindness. People become so absorbed into the conversation they are oblivious to what is going on right next to them.