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Texting and driving, just as dangerous as DUI

Posted by Craig Penrod | Jan 28, 2014 | 0 Comments

Does this sound familiar? You are in your vehicle on your way to an appointment and you are running late. Your cell phone starts to vibrate or it chimes announcing that you have received a text message.

In Tempe, Phoenix or other communities in Maricopa County, regarding driving under the influence (DUI) or other serious traffic violations it is important that you consult experienced Arizona lawyers like those associated with the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod, P.C.

That text message may be from the person you are on your way to meet with and you are tempted to check the message. Your cell phone is within arm's reach. You glance and see the screen lighting up and you here the chime. Understandably, you are curious. The only vehicle on the road is a short way in front of you. It should take a second to check the message and respond, only a second.

Should you check the message? Should you respond back? Hopefully, you decided to wait.

Perhaps you will pull over and read the text or delay checking the message until you have reached your destination.

Statistics have reported that even though 97 percent of teens admit that texting while driving is dangerous, a whopping 43 percent of teens admit to texting while driving. Research also shows that teens admit that texting is their number one driving distraction.

The most troubling finding by traffic safety organizations is that 77 percent of teens have admitted to watching their parents text and drive.

In the state of Arizona, Rep. Karen Fann, R-Prescott, recently introduced HB2359 into the 2014 session of the Arizona Legislature. The proposed legislation would prohibit teenage drivers with graduated driver's licenses from using communication devices. For the first six months that a teen driver holds a class G driver's license the teen driver is prohibited from driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless communication device for any reason, except during an emergency in which stopping the vehicle is impossible or will create an additional hazard. If approved and signed into law, the legislation would become effective July 1, 2015.

In recent time, there have been an estimated 912,740 crashes involving drivers using cell phones and texting. Annually, 21 percent of fatal car accidents involving teenagers between the ages of 16-19 were the direct result of cell phone usage. This statistic is predicted to increase as much as 4 percent every year. About 48 percent of Americans ages 12-17 report that they have been in a car when the driver was texting.

You should know that texting while driving is to blame for:

  • 1.6 million accidents per year–National Safety Council;
  • 330,000 injuries per year–Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study:
  • 11 teen deaths every day–Institute for Highway Safety Fatality Facts;
  • Makes you 23 times more likely to be in an accident–National Highway Transportation Safety Administration;
  • Driving a vehicle while texting is the same as driving blind for five seconds at a time. That's like traveling the length of a football field while going 55 miles per hour. – Virginia Tech Transportation Institute; and
  • Slows your brake reaction speed by 18 percent – Human Factors & Ergonomics Society.

Even without the proposed legislation pending at the Arizona Legislature, you can ensure the safety of your teen:

  • Parents lead by example. Don't talk on the phone or text when you're operating a vehicle;
  • Have teens lock that phone in the trunk or glove compartment; and
  • If they aren't going to put the cell phone away, then teach teen drivers about the importance of pulling off the road and parking the car before reading the text message and responding.

Just like getting in a vehicle with someone who's been drinking, the same concept applies to getting in a car with a person who is a texture.

It is important that your legal situation should be handled by expert professionals with the experience possessed by the attorneys at the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod, P.C. Our office offers free consultations for all DUI and criminal matters. Our Arizona DUI attorneys and Arizona criminal lawyers can provide you with the experience and knowledge needed for qualified representation. An experienced Arizona DUI lawyer is vital in DUI cases and our DUI attorneys set that standard. If you're in need of a criminal defense, our Arizona criminal attorneys are ready to assist you.

About the Author

Craig Penrod

Craig W. Penrod was born and raised in Arizona and has practiced criminal defense for over 30 years. Mr. Penrod is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, Maricopa County Bar Association, State of Nevada Bar Association, American Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, Nevada Trial Lawyers Association, Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

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