Texting is a two-way street
Drivers are responsible for their conduct behind the wheel. That said, third parties can sometimes be held liable for the negligence of a driver. Dram shop laws hold bars and restaurants liable for over serving patrons who then go on to injure others in drunk driving accidents. Some lawmakers are now pushing to hold people liable for sending text messages to someone they know is driving. This extension of the law is not widespread, but it does raise interesting questions about the methods needed to stop distracted driving.
Whether or not you favor a law holding texters responsible for the recipient driver's negligence, it is something to consider when promoting safety. If you know someone is driving, should you hold off on calling or texting them until they are safely stopped? The driver is certainly responsible for the decision to read or ignore the text, but you can remove the temptation to check by waiting for a more convenient, and safer, time.
Distracted driving deaths
Highway fatalities are on the rise. After years of improving safety, the national trend has turned and the death toll is climbing. Many people have attributed this turnaround to smart phones and the impact they are having on driver inattention. Texas sees thousands of fatal car accidents every year. The conditions here, including wide open spaces and a substantial highway system, may be conducive to distracted driving. Statistics support the notion that drivers cannot or will not ignore their cell phones voluntarily. Technology may resolve the issue eventually, but for now, everyone should be looking for ways to keep their loved ones safe from the dangers of distracted driving.