Americans send and receive an estimated one billion text messages every day, and many are read or sent while we are behind the wheel.
Sending a text message while driving is dangerous, experts say, but it is perfectly legal in New York and most of the other 50 states.
Now, a West Seneca mother is pushing to convince legislators to change state law to explicitly ban texting while driving.
Kelly Cline is doing this to honor the memory of her son, A.J. Larson, and to make sure that other parents won't experience the grief she has gone through since the Dec. 3 accident that claimed A.J.'s life.
Larson, who was 20 at the time of the crash, was killed when he drove through a stop sign at Bosse Lane and Clinton Street, into the path of a waste-management truck.
Cell-phone records show Larson was texting a friend in the moments before the crash and this distraction was a likely factor in the crash, West Seneca police said.
Cline and Larson's longtime girlfriend, Ally Mitringa, are bravely enduring interviews and photo requests to take their story public and to try to reach young drivers.
Young people in particular are devoted text messagers and many freely admit to reading or sending messages while they drive.
Texting is even worse than talking on a phone while driving, experts and police say, because it forces drivers to take their attention and their eyes off the road … and at least one hand off the wheel.
Legislation banning texting while driving is pending in the State Legislature.
Even if texting while driving is banned, do you think a change in the law will change anyone's behavior?
And will anyone confess to regularly reading or replying to text messages while driving?
-- Stephen T. Watson