Letter to the editor: Texting while driving

Yay! We’re No. 46! Or we will be on Nov. 1 when Oklahoma’s law banning texting while driving kicks in, making us the 46th state to pass such legislation. But why wait? Avoid the rush. Stop texting now.

We congratulate the Oklahoma Legislature for their wisdom in passing this much-needed law. It will no doubt cause more and more of us to think twice before picking up the phone as we drive.

Distracted drivers are a huge menace to themselves and others on the road. And it’s not just texting. The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office reports that in 2013, there were 1,712 Oklahoma drivers involved in crashes who were distracted by an electronic device.

But get this: There were another 5,776 drivers involved in crashes that year who were distracted by something other than an electronic device. These stats are based on drivers self-reporting the conditions that led to the crash, so they’re no doubt low.

The list of distractions ranges from putting on make-up to looking at other drivers to interacting with fellow passengers. Bottom line: reduce all distractions and you will increase your chances of surviving driving.