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For teenagers, texting while driving is becoming an increasingly troubling issue; in fact, research has revealed that texting while driving can be as serious as drunk driving. However, in a recent survey by State Farm, only 36 percent of teens indicated that texting while driving could lead to a fatal accident.
The realities of texting while driving are much more dire than those survey results indicate. While driving at 55 miles per hour, texters can drive the length of the football field without looking at the road. The National Safety Council has estimated that at least 1.6 million crashes—or 28 percent of crashes—involve distracted drivers who are using their cell phones. Texting significantly reduces the driver’s reaction time, leaving him all the more likely to run a red light. In post-crash interviews, many drivers don’t even recall making a hazardous mistake like breezing through a stop sign because they were so involved with typing a message at the time of the accident.
Teens are becoming more and more dependent on cell phones, so it’s no wonder that they’ve taken to texting while driving. According to the Pew Research Center, 75 percent of teens own cell phones. More than half of teens text on a daily basis.
Because of these troubling statistics, many states have taken strides to ban texting while driving. As of May 2011, 32 states, the District of Columbia and Guam have banned texting while driving. Further, eight states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands prevent drivers from using handheld cell phones altogether.