Texting while driving

In 2010, Vermont Governor Jim Douglas signed an anti-texting law that banned texting while driving for anybody on the roads in the state. Vermont was the 27th state to pass such a law and more have followed. The Vermont law also prohibits any use of portable electronic devices, including cell phones, for drivers of 18 years of age or younger.
By law, texting is defined as “Reading or manually composing, or sending of electronic communications. Electronic communications include text messages, instant messages, or e-mails using a portable electronic device.”
A portable electronic device, which includes cell phones, also includes a personal digital assistant (PDA), and laptop computers.
Distracted driving can include anything from texting, talking on the phone, eating and drinking, fixing your hair, reading a map, using a navigational system or adjusting a music system. Not only are some of these against the law, but they can all have fatal results.
According to the US Department of Transportation, “in 2010, 3092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.”
A study from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) found that “text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.”
They also found that “sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind. (VTTI)”
A study done at Carnegie Mellon found that using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%.