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When It Comes To Texting While Driving Teens Aren't The Problem

We have previously reported on North Carolina's ban on texting while driving. The law went into effect in December of 2009, and since that time there have been over 1,200 citations issued for texting behind the wheel. While most assume that teenagers are to blame, the statistics show that adults are actually more guilty when it comes to this distracted driving practice.

The Associated Press reports that 28 is the average age of those ticketed for texting while driving. At least half of those cited were older than 26, and a handful of distracted drivers were over 60.

This busts the myth that teenagers are the only drivers who can't put down their phones. In fact, another North Carolina law makes teens the least likely to be cited for texting while driving. Adult drivers are allowed to use cell phones for calls, so it is not always easy for police to discern what is texting and what is dialing. However, drivers under 18 are not allowed to use phones at all when driving, so they would be less likely to be cited for texting.

In our last post about the texting while driving ban, we noted that it is an unsafe practice regardless of whether or not it is illegal. The data from North Carolina's citations seems to prove that drivers who text are more likely to be engaged in other unsafe practices on the road.

Over 700 of the texting citations written were issued along with citations for other violations. Drivers caught texting were also charged with reckless driving, driving under the influence, and even driving the wrong way.

With all its problems and headaches, North Carolina's texting while driving ban is here to stay. And even though a $100 fine might not seem too steep, drivers should be aware that it is possible for charges to escalate with each offense. Moreover, with our current knowledge about the dangers of texting while driving, the decision to put down the phone might just save your life.

Source: Bloomberg.com, "Most NC texting charges come from drivers over 25," Mike Baker, 28 January 2011

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