Do you text while driving despite the MD ban that went into effect in October?

My suspicion is that people have hardly slowed their texting habits even though it’s illegal to text message while operating a vehicle in many states now, including Maryland. I asked the question on Facebook to see what responses I’d get from my peers.

What did people say?

Drunk drivers cause less accidents than texting drivers

(A portion of the whole graphic)

Neal Rodriguez of the Huffington Post posted this graphic in his article on texting while driving Monday.

I think it speaks for itself.

Click here to see the whole graphic

Do you think you can drive safely while text messaging?

The New York Times released this driving and texting simulation to demonstrate how difficult it is to drive properly while text messaging. Below is a screenshot, but you can do the activity for yourself on their website.

A screenshot of The New York Times' test to gauge your text messaging distraction.

A screenshot of The New York Times' test to gauge your text messaging distraction.

Honestly, this activity is highly challenging, but probably not realistic.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t drive through toll booths every four seconds or change lanes haphazardly. I also don’t have to use a cursor to select each letter of text.

For most of us, texting is second nature and can be done without looking at our phones. However, looking down for even 2 seconds puts a driver and other cars in danger.

Should it be illegal? I’m not sure. But if we all can’t learn to behave accountably and responsibly and stop driving with multiple distractions, then I imagine plenty of distracting driving activities will be outlawed as the death tolls pile up.

How did you do on the New York Times’ test?

“Texting can be deadly” video makes an impact

Driving is part of social responsibility.

With about 62 million registered vehicles in the U.S. (according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Statistical Records Office), there are a lot of people sitting behind the wheel of 2-ton (or heavier) hunk of metal moving at high speeds. Human error while driving can lead to disaster.

So it’s up to each and every one of us to pay attention, drive safely and assertively, and obey the laws of the road. Texting while driving, particularly because it is one of the most common and most avoidable causes of accidents, is one of the big hot button driving topics today.

And to add more attention the issue, police officers in England teamed up with Brynmawr filmmaker Peter Watkins- Hughes to make a video that would raise awareness. “A gruesome video on the Web, called ‘Texting Can Be Deadly,’ is getting lots of hits and creating some controversy” wrote Tony Bizjak. The reactions to this “public service announcement , sponsored by police in Gwent, England” brought the issue of texting while driving to the forefront of the international agenda.

The Heddlu Gwent Police hope “the film will become part of the core schools programme across Wales and ultimately the UK.” In the U.S., this video helped the transportation secretary, Ray LaHood, decide to organize a Distracted Driving Summit today and tomorrow, and the main question of the summit will have to involve a ban of texting while driving.

I’ll be honest, this video is not embedded in this post yet because I really want to warn that it is graphic. On first attempt, I had to stop watching because I found it so disturbing. I have been in a really bad car crash and so the footage may be much more upsetting to me than to others. That being said, it is graphic, serious and effective. Please watch it for yourself:

This video is graphic. You have been warned.

What do you think about the intentions behind this video? Do you think this video is helpful or harmful? Do you think that it should be shown in schools? And what about the subject of texting while driving or a ban on it?

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