The Norman Transcript

May 11, 2013

More texts, more deaths

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma lawmakers should take note of a new study that suggests more teens die as a result of texting while driving than do who drink alcohol and drive.

Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., estimates 3,000 teens die and 300,000 are injured while texting and driving, compared to an estimated 2,700 teens who die and another 282,000 injured while drinking and driving.

Better enforcement, more education and less peer acceptance has lowered the fatalities for drinking and driving among teenagers. One study suggests drinking and driving among teens has dropped 54 percent since 1991.

Legislators have shut down several attempts to ban texting and driving, saying existing laws about distracted driving will suffice. Public education, much of it coming from insurance companies, wireless carriers and private employers, will help, but Oklahoma needs to join its fellow states in banning texting and driving.