Arizona is one of the few states that has never passed a law that bans drivers from texting while driving. We wrote about the tragic consequences of drivers who are distracted by their phones in a recent post about a fatal truck accident. The act is dangerous, plain and simple — and even if a law is not in effect to make it clear, people should still use common sense to avoid texting while driving. You are inherently looking away from the road, often for many seconds at a time.

While that may not sound like a long time, you can travel hundreds of feet in just a few seconds. Think about what would happen if a dramatic change in traffic occurred during those few seconds. You wouldn’t be able to react, and a crash would undoubtedly occur.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is going to make a big push in the new year to try to curb the act of distracted driving in the state. It is not clear how the DPS plans to crack down on distracted drivers, but they will launch an education program in accordance with the movement.

Again: even without a law on the books, it does not make it okay for drivers to whip out their cellphone and mindlessly stare at it for a few seconds while they drive. It is extremely negligent, and a distracted driver could hurt many innocent people by looking at their cellphone. It shouldn’t be done, and just because there is no law against it doesn’t mean that the victims of such an accident are barred from filing a civil suit against a distracted driver.

Source: Associated Press, “Arizona DPS to crack down on texting drivers,” Nov. 11, 2013