Working in a Bellevue personal injury law firm as a Kirkland auto accident attorney and knowing the dangers of distracted driving, it shocks me how big the texting while driving epidemic is becoming.  In the last decade the number of cell phone users has risen exponentially, in 2000 there were 97 million cell phone users, in 2009 there were an outstanding 276.6 million. With this increase in cell phones and with the move towards smart phones that can handle e-mail, Facebook and Twitter, texting while driving has become a big problem. Legislation has met this problem with fines for texting while driving ranging anywhere from a meager $20.00 to $200.00, but even with these fines the problem still continues. A study by the Auto Club of California found that since the California texting while driving laws were put in effect two years ago the number of people texting while driving has actually increased. Since the laws are not working as well as planned, Disney has taken a stance to make the road safer one employee at a time.

Disney announced recently a change in their employee policy which bans texting and driving from Disney employees with the consequence of job loss. Many Disney employees operate company vehicles, but Disney has now banned employees from not only texting while driving in company owned vehicles, but from texting behind the wheel while doing any task associated with the entertainment giant even if in a personal car. Any employees ignoring this rule will be subject to disciplinary action which could include termination.

Texting while driving not only leads to thousands of fender benders every year; it also leads to horrible fatal auto accidents particularly among younger drivers. Two years ago I started Teens Against Distracted Driving (TADD) in an attempt to curb this epidemic. TADD is a program created to educated teens on the consequences of texting while driving. Please visit the TADD website and take the pledge to not text while driving, no matter what your age we will be happy to take your pledge and send you a TADD bracelet to remind you of the grave responsibility of driving.

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