Petitioning All Major Automobile, Cellphone & Insurance Companies: Equip Cars with Mandatory Technology to Disable Texting While Driving
Teens and adults know that distracted driving is dangerous, but they do it anyway. The only sure way to prevent drivers from texting behind the wheel is to make it impossible for them to text while driving.
Driving while talking and texting on a mobile phone is as dangerous as driving intoxicated. Twenty-eight percent of traffic accidents occur when drivers are using mobile phones. As the number of Americans with cell phones and smartphones grows, traffic crashes resulting from distracted driving are reaching epidemic proportions.
Distracted drivers cause about 6,000 deaths and a half a million injuries every year. Requiring the technology to disable texting while driving as a safety feature (like seat belts and air bags) and rewarding use of the technology with insurance discounts is good public policy: It will save lives and money.
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Everyone knows distracted driving is dangerous, yet strict laws and educational campaigns have not convinced most drivers to change their habits. The only sure way to prevent drivers from texting behind the wheel is to make texting impossible while driving. Please urge car and mobile phone manufacturers to keep drivers, especially teen drivers, safer on the road by making texting disabling technology a mandatory safety feature in automobiles.
Teens are at particular risk—they are the most addicted to cell phone use and texting, and more vulnerable to driver error. Almost half of all drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 admit to texting while driving. Even when not using a mobile phone, a teen driver riding with one passenger doubles the risk of being involved in a fatal car crash. Studies show that talking on a mobile phone while driving is even more distracting than talking to a passenger, and dramatically slows a driver’s reaction time. The number of fatal car crashes involving cell phone use by drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 is growing by as much as 4% every year.
Please encourage major insurance companies to reward drivers using this technology with significant auto insurance discounts.