Texting and Fatal Car Accidents

It is not hard to draw the connection between texting and fatal car accidents. Texting while driving is quickly becoming one of the top causes for distracted driving with deadly consequences. The biggest make up from texting and fatal car accidents is youth.  In fact, in a 2013 study by Cohen Children’s Medical Center reports that texting while driving actually surpassed drinking and driving as the leading cause of auto accident deaths. The report shows 3000 teens die each year from texting and driving compared to 2700 from drinking and driving.

Based on police data from 2010 to 2014, there is on average 32 deaths resulting from car crashes involving youth 16 to 21 years of age. Of those deaths, 22% is due to texting or other forms of distracted driving. According to ICBC, a person is 23 times more likely to get in an accident if they text and drive, and 4 times as likely if they talk on the phone and drive.

Some people are arguing for stricter penalties on distracted driving. In BC, if a person is caught using an electronic device while driving, the penalty is a $167 fine and deduction of 3 driver points. Drunk driving in comparison can involve a $200 to $400 fine, licence suspension, and vehicle impoundment. If the trend is showing that texting while driving is climbing up to become a top cause in fatal car accidents, would you agree that more penalties should be imposed to discourage the behavior?

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