Texting While Driving Worse Than Drinking and Driving

First it was you could not talk on the phone while driving.  Everyone had to go out and buy a Bluetooth and everyone was ashamed of wearing them because you looked so stinking weird when wearing one.  I went out and bought a Bluetooth and fell in love with it.  Let me clarify really quick, my Bluetooth does not leave my car, I refuse to wear it outside my car!  I do not want to be one of those people, you know who I am talking about.  The person who you think is either crazy or talking on their Bluetooh.  Soon after the Bluetooth requirement came the addition to the hands free law of no texting while driving.   See Hand Free Driving Law

The state of New Jersey is taking it to the next step and is considering of creating a law of not allowing drivers to touch their navigation screens while driving (Check It Out).  Could you imagine the dialogue between a police officer and the driver over touching the navigation screen while driving.  “Sir, I am pulling you over because I saw you touch your navigation screen while driving and thus it is a $100 fine.”  Driver, “No you didn’t.” Officer, “Hmmm, yes I did.” Driver, “No you didn’t.”

After reading about the proposed law in New Jersey all I could think about was the Saturday Night Live skits where Governor Patterson of New York rips on New Jersey on weekend update with Seth Meyers.  This video is random, man it sure is funny.  SEE THE VIDEO.

What really intrigued me was an article done by Car and Driver on Texting While Driving: How Dangerous Is It?

I have had friends pass away from text messaging while driving and others pass away from drinking and driving.   The study shows that test drivers were slower in their reaction times while texting and driving then drinking and driving.  To be honest the numbers were really not even close!

It is drilled in your head that drinking and driving is the worst thing you can do behind the wheel.  Ask me a couple of weeks ago I would have told you that texting is dangerous but nothing compared to drinking and driving.

I will admit I text and drive quite often and my fiancé Sophia texts while driving as well.  For some odd reason I refuse to text and drive with others in the car.  Ever since my friend passed away I try to have the person in the passenger seat text a response for me when I receive a text.

Everyone has turned into text messaging whores.  Everyone texts now, my mom texts!  She thinks she is a big deal when she texts, she normally follows the text with a phone call making sure you got her text and you have to congratulate her on a job well done.  I get really nervous about the use of text messaging because I feel like people create really bad social habits in communicating.  Text messaging has some benefits of getting straight to the point and no small chit chat but there is no fluctuation of the voice or tone in a text message.  I feel like people can hide behind just words and say things they would never say out loud or heaven forbid say in person face to face.   Teenagers now view text messaging as easier to talk then actually verbalizing a conversation.  The biggest culprit of texting and driving is teenagers.

With the study done by Car and Driver it has shed some light on how dangerous texting and driving is.   I am most interested to see in the coming months and years to see the convictions of people who cause fatal wrecks from text messaging and see if they get the same punishment as one who was drinking and driving.  If texting is just as dangerous as drunk driving should they be held to the same standard?

It is going to take some time but people need to realize that texting is just as serious behind the wheel as driving drunk!

–          Tyson Gamblin


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June 2009
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