Massachusetts Texting and Driving: What Is Wrong With This Very Clear Picture?

What is wrong with people in this country and in this state, that they won’t get the message that texting and smartphone use while behind the wheel, is a death wish? I’ve asked that question so many times that I’ve lost count, because no matter how much carnage occurs on the roads due to distracted driving in Massachusetts, and what laws are passed, people just can’t seem to put these foolish things – that were originally invented to make our lives easier, but which in fact have taken ourselves over like some kind of addiction – down while driving.

As a Boston, Massachusetts distracted driving lawyer, I’ve seen too many examples of Massachusetts motor vehicle accidents caused by texting and driving. Many of the injuries that result from texting and driving accidents are extremely serious. The motorists who pass by the scenes of these accidents gawk with typical curiosity, but does it cause them to change their own behavior? Shockingly, almost never. Perhaps one of those onlookers has been you?

An estimate by the National Safety Council claims that over 213,000 car accidents in the U.S. in 2011 involved texting while driving, 53,000 higher than in 2010. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly a third of Americans had either e-mailed or texted on while they were driving in a one month period. Many think they’ll get away with it unscathed and unharmed. Many more are wrong — dead wrong.

A federal study showed that 94 percent of all Americans think it should be a crime to text while driving. Yet, they don’t stop. With teenage drivers, it’s even worse: They are twice as likely as adults to text while driving, and one study revealed that an anti-texting law barely at all lowers the likelihood that a teenage driver will text and drive. I’m also a Boston teenage driver accident lawyer – and I can attest this is an enormous problem with teen drivers.

What is it with all this? Are people just plain stupid? Or selfish? Or both?

Now, it seems there may be an answer to this mystery of why drivers don’t put down their smartphones when behind the wheel: We haven’t reprogrammed technology – technology has reprogrammed us.

Click here to see a story in today’s Boston Globe about this. And for God’s sake, put the phone down when you’re behind the wheel.

Or the person who ends up with a broken neck or permanent injuries, may just be you.