The addition of text messaging has made all our lives easier. There is no longer the need to have a lengthy conversation with someone when you can quickly send them a note with what they need. Why tie up 15 minutes of your life when a text that takes ten second can do the trick? While texting is great, it is also the cause of quite a few accidents.It was bad enough when people were driving with one hand so they could talk on their cell phones. Cell phone companies addressed this issue by adding a speakerphone option. In addition, companies also created dash mounts for the phones so drivers would not have to clumsily reach for their phone when it went off. However, far too many accidents were still happening due to the use of cell phones.After a few years, hands free devices were available. Initially, most phones included a headset, but that has wires that could tangle and were just considered cumbersome by most. When Bluetooth devices came out, drivers finally had a true “hands-free” device they could use while driving. Now they could talk and keep their eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel.No sooner was a sigh of relief breathed when texting was introduced. This was like taking two steps forward and one step back. Now, everyone was texting instead of talking and it may actually have been worse than when the cell phone craze first hit. There were already laws in place regarding cell phone usage when driving, but texting caused an immediate need for specific legislation.The dangers of texting and driving were immediately apparent. Drivers everywhere were causing fender benders and worse because they were not only using one hand to text, but rather both hands! States like Illinois passed laws reading, “A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device to compose, send, or read an electronic message…’Electronic message’ includes, but it not limited to electronic mail, a text message, an instant message, or a command or request to access an Internet site.” The one exception to the law reads “A driver using an electronic communication device in hands-free or voice-activated mode.”Regardless of how good a driver thinks they are, driving with one hand on the wheel or with both hands on the wheel and the cell phone is dangerous. We all know how quickly things happen on the road and if both hands are not dedicated to the task at hand, the driver is begging for an accident to occur. There is no message that cannot wait until the next red light or when you reach your final destination. Keep those hands on the wheel, leave the cell phone alone, and drive safely.
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