While the dangers of talking on cell phones while driving have been well documented in everything from government-funded studies to the TV show Mythbusters, a similar threat may be overlooked by the existing bans in many states. According to a new poll from Harris Interactive, 91 percent of American drivers believe that text messaging while driving is as dangerous as drinking and driving.
Perhaps even more alarming: despite their obvious concern, 57 percent of drivers in the same survey admitted to texting while they drove. Furthermore, 89 percent of respondents said they would support legislation to outlaw texting while driving. The conclusion, it would seem, is that people are aware of the obvious dangers of playing one-handed typists behind the wheel, mostly ignore those dangers, and acknowledge that they need a law to make them stop.
Those laws are slowly being set into motion. Washington already passed the first outright ban on texting from the road in May, while New York, California, Florida and three other states are currently considering bans. New York State’s legislation may be especially timely, since police recently discovered that the fatal SUV crash that killed five teenage girls in Western New York may have been caused by texting.