Support growing for a ban on texting while driving

A leading insurance provider has released a report that shows an outpouring of support from the public for some type of restriction to be put on text messaging while driving in order to curb the amount of accidents that have been caused by distracted drivers and caused significant rises in auto insurance rates.

A leading insurance provider has released a report that shows an outpouring of support from the public for some type of restriction to be put on text messaging while driving in order to curb the amount of accidents that have been caused by distracted drivers and caused significant rises in auto insurance rates.

The survey, which was conducted between August 4 and August 9 and consisted of 1,008 adults responding to questions asked to them over the telephone, found that "a majority of the general population would support a law banning cell phone usage while driving."

Eighty percent of respondents stated that they support restricting texting while driving, with 69 percent saying they "strongly support" a restriction while the remaining 11 percent "somewhat" supported a ban. Eighty percent also supported restricting emailing while behind the wheel.

The number of respondents favoring a ban for more distracting activities far eclipsed the 67 percent who supported restricting phone calls while driving, with 47 percent strongly supporting a restriction and 20 percent "somewhat" supporting one.

There has been an increase in the amount of organizations compiling data to demonstrate the dangers of texting while driving. In addition to a July report from Virginia Tech that found accidents were 23 times more likely when a driver was texting, on Monday the Governors Highway Safety Association GHSA) threw its support behind a nationwide ban on texting while driving as well.

"If every state passes a texting ban, it will send a message to the public that this dangerous practice is unacceptable. We can begin to change the culture that has permitted distracted driving," said GHSA chairman Vernon F. Betkey Jr., according to Consumer Reports.

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Posted: September 2, 2009

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