I think that texting and driving is just as bad as drinking and driving. In today’s world, we all know that technology has taken over every part of our lives. Teenagers especially cannot seem to function without a smartphone in their hands and do not really know how to actually talk on a phone these days. This generation has grown up texting and not communicating verbally with one another. I know that my daughter prefers to text her friends rather than actually talk to them on the phone. This has become a global issue as well. Texting while driving vs drunk driving is debated in many circles.

How does the new technology of texting & mobile phone use affect car accidents or any type of accidents for that matter? Texting and driving has been proven to be just as distracting as being legally drunk and driving. Many recent studies have shown that a person who is texting has as much control over their car as one who is legally drunk. We have all seen drivers who are weaving along the road or driving very slow and possibly we may think they have been drinking. However, when we look into the car, they have their heads down and one arm on the steering wheel. What are they doing in this strange position? Of course, texting and losing total control over the roadway ahead.

How does this phenomenon cause more accidents in today’s world? First of all, we all have a duty to drive as a reasonably, prudent person under the circumstances. This is the law in most states, including Colorado and if you do not drive this way, then you can be found to be “negligent”. A negligent driver who causes an accident will be found legally liable for the subsequent injuries of the other person. There have been many recent accidents involving those drivers who are texting and look down to text, then look up and find a row of cars stopped at a traffic light. Of course, the texting driver has no time to stop because they were not paying attention to the roadway ahead and thus slams into the car in front. This is a clear cut case of negligence and the texting driver will be found to be completely at fault for causing the accident.

The state of Washington was the first state in 2007 to ban texting and driving. Currently, 46 states have a law prohibiting one from texting and driving. But does this actually stop anyone from texting and driving? In Colorado, you can drive and talk on your cell phone whereas in New York, you cannot. I think it would be a great idea for the Colorado legislature to ban cell phone use entirely while driving just like the state of New York and other states. 14 states currently prohibit all cell phone use while driving. With the rapid increase of distracted driving accidents, that number should be “all states prohibit cell phone use while driving”! There is no reason to talk on a cell phone while driving. It is only a distraction and can cause a driver to kill someone or seriously injure others. There have been cases in various states where a driver is texting and “mows” down a group of cyclists. One recent incident involved the death of 5 cyclists when the driver was texting and drifted off the roadway onto the right shoulder where the cyclists had been riding, thus killing all the cyclists who had been riding on the shoulder.

Please do not text and drive as it can be deadly for all involved. Even better, please do not drive while talking on the cell phone unless it is a pure emergency. Distracted driving is the new “drunk driving” and can be just as dangerous!

A personal injury lawyer with over 10 years of experience, Ryan Malnar serves Colorado Springs with honesty & integrity.