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Oprah joins the ranks of distracted driving opponents

Oprah stated her opposition to talking and texting behind the wheel, both of which significantly increase the risk of suffering an accident

Oprah devoted a show this week to the dangers posed by using cell phones behind the wheel.

According to Consumer Reports’ blog, she hosted victims and perpetrators of distracted driving accidents. She also had three people – who claimed they were proficient at texting behind the wheel – drive a cone course while composing texts. All three drivers veered from the course and would have been likely to get in accidents had they been on the road.

Many states have enacted laws banning talking or texting while driving; some bans apply specifically to younger drivers. But the laws can be hard to enforce, as state troopers in Missouri are finding.

According to State Highway Patrol superintendent Colonel James Keathley, it can be difficult for a trooper to discern a driver’s age. Missouri’s texting ban only applies to drivers younger than 21, St. Louis radio station KMOX reports.

Still, Keathley said, Missouri’s highway fatality rate was at a 60-year low.

Cell use while driving has been shown to raise the likelihood of getting in an accident. People concerned about saving money on auto insurance should pledge to put down the phone when they drive.

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Posted: January 21, 2010

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