Text message use in the last few years has exploded. More people than ever are keeping in touch with each other through mobile devices, allowing them to send and receive text messages from just about anywhere – even from behind the wheel. Combine the ease of text messaging with services like Twitter, and the potential distractions for the modern driver are endless.
This has led to something of a conundrum in some states. Even while banning or restricting the use of mobile devices to send and receive text messages and emails while driving, some states send out Twitter updates about road conditions, traffic issues or other road emergencies.
Virginia is one of these states. Virginians can receive traffic information via Twitter, which means that some drivers could be using the service while they’re behind the wheel. The disconnect here is that Virginia lawmakers just passed legislation making it illegal to send or receive text messages or emails while driving. Are authorities inadvertently encouraging road users to text and drive?
Instead of reading updates while driving, motorists are encouraged by some states to check the traffic situation before getting in their vehicle. If road users are focusing their attention on their mobile devices instead of what’s going on around them – they could quickly become part of the traffic problem by causing a crash themselves.