As an injury attorney I live on my telephone which means I am constantly on my cell phone. Like many professionals I have found that I can keep my conversations short and focused by texting with clients and other attorneys. Even when I'm in the office I have come to prefer this means of communication as it seems to be the most efficient use of my time, ensuring that I can respond to client's needs in the quickest way possible. My guess is that my clients also prefer it because none have ever complained that they have their attorney's private cell phone number on speed dial.
I am just as guilty anyone else of reading (and sometimes responding) to text while driving. I know that I shouldn't and try to limit when and where I do it to the safest stretches of road. Regardless, I could still end up in a wreck as a result of this horribly bad habit.
Texting is clearly a distraction while driving, but is it any worse than the radio, talking on the phone or any other long list of things people do when they should be focused on the road? Well, "Car and Driver" conducted a study to determine how much texting slowed a driver's response time versus drunk driving. The shocking result was that response time was slower when texting. I couldn't believe the results. A second study with more exact figures reflected that a driver is 8x more likely to get in an accident than someone who is paying attention to the road. The final category, talking on the phone while driving creates a distraction and likelihood of collision that is equal to that of drunk driving regardless of whether or not the use is hands free.
All states have laws that prevent drunk driving and many states prohibit texting while driving (including my state, North Carolina); however, no state forbids talking on the phone while driving. Based on the numerous studies with similar conclusions, the public should take a hard look at their phone behavior when driving. I know that my habits will be greatly altered and those whom I ride with are going to start following safe rules as well. No phone conversation, text or otherwise is worth dying over.