Perhaps due to the holiday season, driving and texting has become a new and hazardous trend that is making local and federal authorities crack down not only regular everyday drivers, but on drivers of government agencies as well.
Recent reports from Richmond, Virginia show that drivers are strongly coerced to be more careful and responsible when taking control behind the wheel. According to insurance providers in Virginia, forcing drivers to be more responsible comes with good reason. Whether they are changing radio stations, taking a quick bite from a sandwich, talking on the phone or interacting with some passengers, drivers who are not 100% focused on the wheel and are distracted by other things increase the chances of traffic accidents from happening. Experts say that because of the need for instant communication, more motorists are tempted to text more than ever, making texting and driving an alarming issue all over the state.
However, issues regarding the dangers of texting for drivers are nothing new. In fact, the White House released an Executive Order last October 1, 2009 that strictly highlights provisions banning Federal employees from using their mobile phones while operating vehicles that are rented, owned, and/or leased by the Government. In addition, employees are prohibited to call using their cellphones or text while driving privately owned cars while on an official business trip or when driving to deliver equipment owned and/or supplied by the Government.
After an excellent example started by the government, many states are taking action regarding this texting while driving issue. At present, a number of states have already set schedules for legislation meetings to discuss placing a ban on texting while driving. It is predicted that come January 1st, 2010, approximately twenty- one states will be strictly implementing these laws. In Virginia alone, data from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles reveal that distracted motorists due to mobile phone texting accounted for an estimated number of 28,394 crashes resulting in 114 deaths and around 14,479 injuries. A recent study conducted by the Insurance Information Institute show that Virginia drivers have an alarming tendency to pay too much attention to a phone call from a relative than looking at the highway.
According to local motorist groups, statistics from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles are somewhat alarming, and is indeed worthy of serious legislative action since a huge number of these accidents or road mishaps could have been easily avoided if car owners and drivers were more focused while driving. Drivers are looking for positive changes next year.