Expert Says Focus on Texting While Driving is Misdirected

Campaigns against texting while driving have been surfacing for a few years because of the supposed link between it and a surge in car accidents. However, an expert believes this focus is misdirected and should be placed on other areas of importance. While many admit that there are a lot of reasons that individuals find themselves in dangerous car accidents, texting while driving should remain a top legislative priority.

Runge Believes Distracted Driving Should Move Down Priority List

Distracted driving, like texting, eating or putting on makeup while driving, has been found in many studies to be a problem on the road. For instance, a study conducted by the University of Utah found that those who text and drive are six times more likely to have a car accident than those who don’t.

It’s studies like these that have persuaded lawmakers to push for ways to put an end to distracted driving. However, some experts, like Jeffrey Runge, think there is too much focus placed on this road safety issue.

It was noted in a recent USA Today article that Runge, former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), believes the focus on distracted driving may be distracting people from bigger issues of road safety. He believes resources should be used for the biggest causes of injury on the road.

Eight State Legislatures to Consider Bans for Texting and Driving

Despite Runge’s belief, Ray LaHood, Transportation Secretary, continues to push states to implement laws that will ban one of the main forms of distracted driving, texting while driving.

Currently, at least eight state legislatures are planning to consider laws this session that will ban texting and driving.

The NHTSA says 5,500 people died in 2009 as a result of distractions. Of those deaths, 18 percent were said to be linked to cellphones.

It’s for this reason that many experts suggest in order to remain safe and even keep auto insurance rates low, it’s good to avoid using your cell phone while operating a vehicle.