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"Nobody is going to listen," says teen

Cell phones are such a part of everyday life for many Americans that most no longer think about pulling a mobile phone out to send a text or message; it's just natural. Unfortunately, the tendency to just send text or reply to them is dangerous when driving.

Many states and cities are working on bans that would prohibit texting while driving and some are calling for a nationwide ban on the practice. A study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 1-in-4 teen drivers admit to texting while driving. Analysts believe the number is much higher than what is being reported.

Reuters reports that even if a nationwide ban on texting while driving were introduce, most teen drivers would not stop texting. Texting is so ingrained into the life of teens that they simply will do it any way according to one teen interviewed by Reuters named Karen Cordova. She said, "Nobody is going to listen."

One of the problems is that for police to write citations for texting while driving they have to catch the driver in the act. Catching people talking on the cell phone and driving is easy to do, but if the driver is texting with the device in their lap things are much more difficult.

The California Highway Patrol has issued 163,000 citations to drivers for talking while driving on the phone, but issued only 1,400 citations for texting and driving.

Fran Clader, CHP spokesman said, "The handheld cell phone is relatively easy for us to spot, we can see when somebody has their phone up to their ear. But with the texting it's a little bit more of a challenge to catch them in the act, because we have to see it and if they are holding it down in their lap it's going to be harder for us to see."

One teen interviewed by Reuters said he only stopped texting while driving after his cousin was in a serious accident while texting.

Steven Bloch from the Automobile Club said, "What I would say is that texting and cell phone devices have become such a component of life for teens and for young people that it's hard for them to differentiate between doing something normal and doing something wrong."

Texting and driving is very much like other risky behavior that many engage in when young. Young people tend to feel like nothing can happen to them, that it will always be there other people who have accidents or get caught. Cordova said, "By the time they pull you over, the chances are you are going to be done with your text anyway so they can't exactly prove that you were texting."

A graphic commercial aired in the UK to help stop texting and driving showed teens in an accident caused by texting and driving.

President Obama recently signed an executive order banning federal employees from texting while driving.

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RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By Iaiken on 12/11/2009 11:25:26 AM , Rating: 5
You forget that teens think they are indestructible... Hell, I know I did when I was in high school.

It seems like a ridiculous mentality to me now, but I used to always think "yeah, but that will never happen to me". Now that I've made it well into adulthood, it still hasn't happen to me, but I am well aware of what CAN happen to me because of even a momentary lapse of responsibility on the road.

Just this summer I was almost witness to a young lady getting hit by a car making a right at a complex intersection. The light was red and she was crossing right in front of me and a BMW came up in the right turn lane at speed. As the pedestrian came out from in front of my car I realized this jackass probably wasn't going to stop in time. Despite being under full braking, he only missed her because she had the presence of mind to dart back the way she had came. I got a good look at Chaz LeDouche reading a text on a cell phone, he didn't even bother to put it down and just drove off oblivious to the lesson he should have learned.

What lesson?

If you're going to hop in a 2000+ lb pile of metal and glass and proceed to hurtle down the road in it, focus on that to the exclusion of all else.

RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By MrBlastman on 12/11/2009 12:43:33 PM , Rating: 5
You forget to mention that these snots that are driving them think that it is their right to be a douche to society and not pay attention because the Constitution guarantees them their freedom of speech. Like I mentioned in another post, it all starts with proper parenting to fix the problem before they sprout.

RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By plimogs on 12/11/2009 2:34:44 PM , Rating: 2
proper parenting to fix the problem before they sprout

You are talking about abortion, correct?

RE: How about a scare tactic instead
By Hieyeck on 12/14/2009 2:34:01 AM , Rating: 2
Just like the Plain Janes that think it's their god-given right to drive at 30 on the passing lanes of a highway.

Just like old people that think it's their god-given right to drive at all when they can't see 10 feet in front of them and have the reaction time of a sloth.

Every group of people will have their problems. I know plenty of under 25 drivers I'd trust more than someone with 25 years of "driving experience".

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