Teen deaths while texting and driving overblown

November 9, 2013 

We stand corrected. A statistic that claimed teenage deaths from texting-while-driving accidents are greater than alcohol-related fatalities -- widely cited in media outlets -- had been "wrongly attributed" to University of Utah research.

One of our colleagues at the Miami Herald, writer Rochelle Koff, reported this week that the oft-cited study has been misconstrued. Still, the researchers did confirm that drivers on cell phones are as impaired as intoxicated motorists -- at the 0.8-percent legal limit.

We cited the now-debunked claim in an Oct. 1 editorial. But the fact remains that the now-outlawed practice in Florida is simply too dangerous.

While the state only adopted the ban as a secondary offense -- authorities cannot ticket drivers for reading or sending messages while behind the wheel unless they commit another driving infraction -- the law should signal motorists that paying full attention to the road is vital.

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