Texting and Driving: Saving a Text for Later Can Also Save a Lif - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Texting and Driving: Saving a Text for Later Can Also Save a Life

Posted: Updated:

OLYMPIA, WA - Washington State Patrol is sending out extra patrols from June 28th to June 30th to crack down on distracted drivers as part of the statewide "Talk, Text, Ticket" campaign led by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. 

The use of handheld wireless devices while driving was made a primary traffic offense on July 1st, 2008. The Journal of the American Medical Association provides an analysis of distracted driving research which shows that "young drivers who text spend up to 400% more time with their eyes off the road than drivers who do not text; have 6-fold greater odds of a collision".

A driver who is texting has an impairment level equal to a driver with a .16 blood-alcohol level, according to the Washington State Department of Licensing. Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that drivers in their 20s make up 27% of distracted drivers in fatal crashes.

"Young drivers are temped to text or talk and driver but they bear the brunt of the negative consequences from their actions," WSP Chief John Batiste says. "Plain and simple, taking your eyes off the road, even for a brief moment, puts you and other drivers at high risk for injury or death."

In 2015, distracted driving made up 30% of the state's fatal collisions. 

If you have an important text to send, it is advised you pull over safely to the side of the road; otherwise, be safe and save that text for later.