Is that text you’re going to send worth dying in a car accident?  No, it’s not.  In this video, I discuss the dangers and the laws of texting and driving.

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Video Transcript

Hello, I’m Darrell Castle, an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Tennessee and on this video, I’m talking about texting, specifically texting while driving, or distracted driving as the law refers to it.

Did you know almost everyone thinks texting while driving is dangerous.  That’s because it is dangerous.  About 89% of the people polled say they think texting while driving is dangerous and yet more than one-fourth of them do it anyway.

About 27% admit to texting while driving.  55 people were killed in 2012 on Tennessee’s highways from texting while driving according to Tennessee law enforcement.

It is prohibited on Tennessee highways by the way.  There is a prohibition against texting while driving but it is a non-moving violation, which means it doesn’t go on your permanent driving record and it doesn’t affect your insurance. It is, in essence, a $50 fine plus costs.  389 citations were issued in the first half of 2013 to motorists texting while driving.

But it is a very dangerous thing.  Habits are formed by use of your cell phone and those habits are very difficult to break and can continue while you’re driving, but you should make every effort to not do that. What is worth dying for? Certainly not this text that you have to send. If it is that important, pull over to the side of the road, but stop doing it because it’s dangerous.

Distractive driving, I could give you statistics all day long about how far your car travels, at what speed, when you look away to text for a moment. It’s a very dangerous condition, especially in heavy traffic.

Tennessee law enforcement now is starting to take it seriously and issue citations for it and there are laws pending to ban cell phone use in cars completely. But so far, nothing like this has passed except for people driving on a learner’s permit, school bus drivers if they have passengers on board – they’re not permitted to talk on cell phones even while they’re driving. But so far, for ordinary driving, nothing like that.

Texting while driving, a non-moving violation, that is punishable by a $50 fine if you’re ticketed, so if you do it, stop doing it.