Texting While Driving Up 50% in 2011, Quit It You Guys!

We all know that texting while driving is a serious danger, but who among us has not gotten the “lol driving, BRB” text?

And then there are the times when you are en route to a destination and someone won’t quit texting you. “Where R U?” “R U coming?” “U R such a jerk!” Sometimes it’s tempting to just send a brief status update while you’ve got the wheel in one hand and one eye on the road, as dangerous as we know it to be intellectually.

But the stats don’t lie- texting while driving is a dangerous habit for you and everyone else on the road. And while PSAs and law enforcement efforts have done a large part in letting people know the dangers of texting while driving (and parted them from their money in the form of large fines when they’ve committed an offense), people still continue to drive and text at higher rates than last year- twice as high, in fact. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says texting while driving and distracted driving overall “continues to be a major problem,” and hopes that increased awareness of the growing prevalence will keep users from texting on the road- or at least pulling over to send what they may deem a necessary text.

Jonathan Adkins of the Governors Highway Safety Association called the increase in texting while driving “alarming,” and advocates ticketing and hefty fines to keep drivers honest:

“It is clear that educational messages alone aren’t going to change their behavior… Rather, good laws with strong enforcement are what is needed. Many drivers won’t stop texting until they fear getting a ticket.”

The NHTSA also pointed to drops in texting while driving in areas where fines are high and enforcement is strong, but bear in mind these are also the people who like to fondle your junk at the airport. Have you ever been in an accident due to texting while driving?