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Would a Tweet from the Government Stop You from Texting and Driving?

Many of us feel that the government is too invasive in our personal lives. When issues like the ways companies like Google and Facebook track our online activities enter a conversation, opinions can quickly become polarized.

With this in mind: How would you feel if you saw a tweet from a government agency, urging you not to use your phone while driving? Would you feel comforted, violated or perhaps feel nothing, simply ignoring the tweet as you likely do with the hundreds or even thousands of other tweets you receive in your feed each day?

According to an article published by CNET, a recent slew of tweets by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shamed individuals who text and drive, eliciting a slew of responses that ranged from agreement to derision and mocking.

This campaign was unique in that it actually called out individuals who admitted to texting and driving by name, according to AutoBlog. The NHTSA tagged these individuals in the tweets that were seen by Twitter users around the world.

According to The National Safety Council, cell phone use is cited as a factor in more than 1.6 million crashes every year.

This is not the first campaign that has been aimed to stamp out distracted driving. In 2015, AT&T launched its “It Can Wait” campaign, according to CNET. The campaign used somber imagery to illustrate the destruction that an individual can cause by using his or her smartphone while driving.

Indeed, it takes only a few seconds to cause a deadly car accident.

How Widespread is the Texting and Driving Epidemic?

According to The National Safety Council, cell phone use is cited as a factor in more than 1.6 million crashes every year. Approximately one quarter of collisions in the U.S. can be traced to drivers’ use of a cell phone while driving.

Other NSC statistics about texting and driving include:
  • A text message takes a viewer’s eyes off the road for approximately five seconds.
  • Texting while driving is six times more likely to result in a collision than driving drunk.
  • Approximately 330,000 people are injured in collisions due to cell phone use while driving every year.
  • 11 teenagers die every day as a result of collisions caused by texting drivers.

Despite the issue being so widespread, most drivers are opposed to texting while driving. The NSC reports that more than 94 percent of surveyed drivers support a ban on text messaging while driving and 74 percent support a ban on all cell phone use while driving.

In New Jersey, hand-held cell phone use while driving is illegal.

Who Is Most Likely to Text and Drive?

Who Is Most Likely to Text and Drive?Young drivers are more likely than older drivers to text message while they drive. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), drivers under the age of 20 are responsible for the largest proportion of texting-related fatal collisions.

Among high school students, two out of five drivers surveyed in 2013 admitted to sending a text message or e-mail while driving in the past 30 days. There was also a correlation between a student’s likelihood of texting while driving and his or her likelihood of driving drunk or riding with a driver who had been drinking.

Will Public Shaming Work as a Method to Curb Texting and Driving?

Only time will tell if the NHTSA’s Twitter public shaming campaign will work. Getting people to put their phones down is extremely difficult in any setting.

Public shaming may garner many different reactions, sometimes working as it is intended and, at other times, driving individuals to disobey further out of a sense of defiance. We hope it is more likely to lead to the former.

Work with a New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney

Distracted driving is an increasingly common form of driver negligence that results in serious injuries and death. If you are involved in a collision with another vehicle because a driver was text messaging while driving, you may have the right to seek compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim.

Contact us today to set up your free initial consultation with a member of our team of experienced New Jersey car accident attorneys.

At Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., we are equipped to determine the best way to pursue your car accident claim and to work with you as you see the compensation you deserve.