Louisiana drivers may think that as long as their eyes are on the road, they are not distracted. However, a constant source of distraction travels in the cars of many drivers. While cellphones can be a general distraction, texting is one of the main dangers of this device.
Sending and receiving text messages distracts vast numbers of drivers each day. According to Distraction.gov, texting distracts about 660,000 drivers at any moment in the U.S. Teenagers and young adults are increasingly using their phones behind the wheel, and 2.2 percent of all drivers were texting while driving in 2014. The prevalence of young people who text and drive means that this age group sees higher crash rates stemming from distracted driving, with 10 percent being in fatal crashes.
One of the reasons texting is so distracting is that it demands much of a driver's attention. People usually need to actively think about the text they are sending, as well as remove a hand from the wheel and their eyes from the road. This means that a driver may not be looking at the road for five seconds or more.
To discourage texting behind the wheel, Louisiana traffic safety laws include bans on cellphone usage. The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission says that texting and driving is not allowed for any driver, with increasingly heavy fines for those found texting. However, because this is not the only way drivers can be distracted, minors are not allowed any type of cellphone usage behind the wheel unless they are in an emergency situation.