Oprah Lends Support to Safe Driving Practices

PC Magazine Oprah Winfrey has been urging her viewers to promise not to text or make telephone calls while driving.   Last Friday she dedicated her show to the subject.

Some 23 states, including Tennessee, have laws banning texting while driving.  Eight other states have partial bans on texting while driving.  This chart summarizes the law of those states.

A July 2009 study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute concluded that texting while driving increases the risk of a crash by 20 times.   A recent University of Utah study reached a similar result.  The Secretary of Transportation has testified that distracted drivers caused the death of nearly 6000 people in 2008.

The Tennessee statute prohibiting texting while driving means that one who causes an accident as a result is negligent as a matter of law and is responsible for the harm they cause.  Truck and bus drivers are prohibited by federal law from texting while driving.