Teenagers in West Virginia (WV) are participating in an educational film called “Deadly Driving Distractions” for the Charleston, WV-based company Motion Masters. The film focuses on the risks associated with texting while driving, talking on your cell phone while driving, and operating any other electronic device (e.g. I-pod) while behind the wheel.
The irony is that West Virginia is a state with no restrictions on texting while driving or talking on your cell phone while driving. There are currently 19 states that have enacted restrictions on texting, cell phone use, or both, while driving a car . There’s even talk of federal laws being enacted that would reduce federal highway funds if a state does not adopt laws restricting cell phones and texting while driving.
These restrictions were spurred by studies indicating a heightened risk of getting into a car wreck if you text and drive, or are distracted in some way. In addition, statistics indicate 80 percent of approximately 6,000 car crash deaths and more than 500,000 serious car wreck injuries are caused by distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration . Our firm has been concerned about the risks of distracted driving, so we published a consumer report detailing the most common factors which create a distracted driver (take advantage of the free download here).
West Virginia public officials would be wise to follow up the teens’ video with legislation addressing texting and driving along with cell phone use in vehicles.