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.