Texting and driving is a deadly habit. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 3,179 people were killed in car crashes involving a distracted driver in 2014.

Moreover, recent data from the National Safety Council reveals that traffic fatalities – which had been falling – are now soaring, up eight percent in 2015 over the previous year, the largest year-over-year percent increase in 50 years. The Council estimates 38,300 people were killed on U.S. roads, and 4.4 million were seriously injured, meaning 2015 likely was the deadliest driving year since 2008.

Yet despite the staggering statistics, Americans continue to pick up their phones while driving. In an effort to alter a decidedly modern behavior, officials are trying an old tact: treating distracted driving like drunken driving.

New York in particular is considering legislation that would go far beyond what any other state has done to prevent texting and driving. Read More.

A proposed new law in New York would introduce the digital equivalent of a breathalizer – a textalyzer. Police officers at an accident scene  would ask for the phones of the parties involved, then use the device to tap into their operating systems to monitor recent activity. The technology could determine whether a driver had used the phone to text, email or do anything illegal.

Not surprisingly, Civil Liberties proponents have some issues with the proposed device, which raises privacy concerns. Read More.

In the meantime, to prevent distracted driving, motorists are urged to turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting to drive. Read More.

To learn more about the alarming repercussions of texting and driving, visit //www.distraction.gov/

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