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Texting while driving: a matter of personal responsibility

Texting while driving, as our readers know, is an activity that we all know is unsafe, but which too many of us engage in on occasion. According to recent research, the degree of impairment for those who text while driving is roughly equivalent to driving while intoxicated, depending on the degree of intoxication. Because of this, there are more and more efforts to address the problem by legislatures and more and more recommendations from safety advocates urging drivers to put their cell phones down.

Technology to address the problem has also been suggested. Among such efforts to deal with the issue are the creation of apps that would force drivers to leave their phone alone while driving, and another app which would send the person on the other end a standard message alerting them that the recipient is driving.  Also in the works is technology that would automatically turn off cell phones while the driver is in the car. 

The promoters of various technological solutions for distracted driving don’t always agree with one another as to the best approach to address the issue. And merely passing laws isn’t necessarily the most effective solution, since laws are no good unless they are consistently enforced.

In the end, reducing the incidence of texting while driving is a matter of personal responsibility. No doubt, there is much that can be done in the way of passing legislation, promoting public service announcement, creating technology to encourage drivers to make smart decisions, and other approaches, but it is ultimately individual drivers who must make decisions they are prepared to live with.

When a driver causes an accident due to his or her negligence, they can be made liable for damages they cause the victim. For victims, personal injury actions are sometimes the best way to ensure they receive the compensation they are due. 

Source: TIME, “Texting While Driving? There’s an App for That. And a $400 Cell Phone Vault,” Alex Rogers, September 23, 2013. 

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