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Something the Insurance Companies and I Agree About — The Dangers of Texting While Driving

 It’s no secret that personal injury lawyers and insurance companies disagree on a lot.  But when we take the time to sit down with one another, we can find a number of areas of common ground.  And two recent stories demonstrate that we all agree about the unnecessary dangers of texting while driving.

First, I wanted to thank  State Farm for a survey they conducted of teenage drivers.  The survey, released yesterday, asked teen drivers about the danger of texting while driving.  While most of the teens acknowledged the dangers of texting while driving, the teens generally thought that driving while intoxicated was a bigger risk than texting while driving.  Of course, that’s not true.  Readers of this blog and website know that a number of studies have shown that texting while driving is actually more dangerous than driving while intoxicated.   Hopefully, this survey is one of many steps to help drivers understand the true risks of texting and driving.

But State Farm went one step further.  Last month, they released an app for the Droid phone that allows people to create automated text message responses telling anyone that texts them that they are unable to respond.  For example, before driving, a driver could program a response saying, “Sorry I can’t respond to your text, but I’m driving.  I’ll reply when it’s safe.”   Perhaps they will expand the app to the iPhone and other platforms in the future.

On a more local note, Allstate insurance helped sponsor a demonstration event at the Delco Center to help show teens and parents just how dangerous texting and driving can be.  The event set up an obstacle course and asked the teens and their parents to drive through it while texting and tweeting.  One of the things that they learned is that a driver who is texting spends 4-5 seconds with his or her eyes off the road.  Driving at 55 mph, the driver could drive the length of a football field without looking at traffic.  The exercise was eye-opening for all involved, as the KXAN news story below shows.

I just applaud each of these insurance companies for making the effort to try and make the roads safer for all of us.

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