Two years after Maryland lawmakers banned drivers from writing text messages while operating a motor vehicle, the state Senate gave its final approval to a bill banning the reading of texts while driving. Considering that, according to the National Safety Council, 28% of traffic crashes now involve drivers that were texting or talking on a cell phone, this added restriction should hopefully help decrease the number of Maryland car accidents that happen each year.
According to Senator James Brochin, who led the charge against the reading of texts, not only does reading electronic messages require attention and time, causing a driving distraction, but also they are interactive and require the reader’s involvement. The latest bill on texts also extends the ban to drivers who are texting while stopped at traffic lights. They can, however, still use their phones to access GPS, Google maps, music, or other applications.
Dangers of Texting
Texting while driving is dangerous and can cause serious Baltimore personal injury and wrongful deaths. Nationally, a Consumer Reports National Research Center survey found that 30% of respondents under the age of 30 admitted to texting while driving. 9% of those surveyed in the older age group admitted to texting while behind the wheel.
A person who is reading a text while driving likely has one hand off the steering wheel to hold the phone or PDA device. He/she may not be thinking about the road, the other vehicles, the speed he/she is going at, or the driving conditions. It takes just seconds for a Maryland car crash to happen.
Studies find adults and teens web surf, send emails behind the wheel: Effort launched to combat distracted driving, mlive, March 7, 2011
Senate passes ban on reading texts while driving, The Baltimore Sun, March 7, 2011
House OKs ban on stoplight texting, Washington Examiner, March 3, 2011
Related Web Resources:
Map of Texting Bans, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Consumer Reports National Research Center
More Blog Posts:
Maryland Injury News: Distracted Driving Blamed for Increasing Number of Fatal Teenage Automobile Accidents, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, July 17, 2010
Maryland Lawmakers Want Texting While Driving Ban to Block Drivers From Reading Messages, Maryland Accident Law Blog, February 20, 2010
Preventing Maryland Car Accidents: Law Making Texting While Driving Illegal Goes Into Effect on Thursday, Maryland Accident Law Blog, September 28, 2009
Contact our Rockville, Maryland personal injury lawyers today.