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The Deadly Distracted Driving Epidemic

The latest data this week on accidents and deaths related to distracted driving (texting and driving, web surfing and driving, etc.) ought to scare you.

Person text messaging while driving
Image Source | Getty Images
Person text messaging while driving

According to analysis in the American Journal of Public Health 16,000 people died in texting and driving accidents between 2001 and 2007.

Even more frightening is the warning that the problem is getting worse.

And yet, whenever you suggest to people that cell phone signals should be jammed for those in the front seat of a moving car or truck, they scream, "NO!!!!!"

Those opposed to allowing cell phone signal jamming often say two things: Drivers should have the choice as to whether they can keep connected behind the wheel or other things distract drivers (like eating fast food) so why not ban those from the front seat as well.

Neither of these arguments sway my opinion.

Americans, especially teens, have shown they refuse to put down their phones. Sure, they know it's dangerous. Sure, they know it's now against the law in many states. But ask a teen driver if they still text and drive or have friends who text and drive and the answer most times is yes.

Despite the growing number of accidents and deaths, I don't expect cell phone signals to ever be jammed in the front seat of a moving vehicle. Americans love their cell phones, their freedom of choice, and the idea of being able to stay connected behind the wheel (even if they know it is dangerous).

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___________________________ Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com

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