FCC Announces Plan to Add Texting to 911 Services: Is This Really a Good Idea?


January 21, 2011

The FCC recently announced its decision to add text messaging to its 911 emergency lineup. In some respects, this is a logical and predictable response to the massive growth of mobile phones and the popularity of text messaging. The addition of texting services to the 911 emergency system was almost inevitable given that the FCC reports that approximately seventy percent of all 911 calls originate from mobile phones.

The 911 system is a vital emergency response resource when drivers are involved in serious Georgia car accidents in Atlanta and elsewhere throughout the state. While the addition of text messaging to the 911 emergency response system may have been predictable, this does not necessarily mean that it is a good idea. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have seen the devastating impact of distracted driving, which is one of the leading causes of serious Georgia auto accidents resulting in catastrophic injuries and even fatalities.

Text messaging has been identified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as one of the most significant causes of distracted driving. While any use of a cell phone while driving creates a risk of distracting a driver, texting has a far more serious impact on one's driving ability than placing phone calls. NHTSA studies indicate that talking on a cell phone increases the probability of being involved in a car crash by 2.8 times, but texting increases the risk by a whopping 23.2 times. Drivers using 911 services will frequently be in unsafe and dangerous situations where a driver's complete and undivided attention is essential. Texting the 911 system while driving may lead to serious Georgia auto collisions. Texting while driving is a significant enough problem that Georgia recently passed legislation prohibiting this unsafe activity.

While texting has become the most common activity on mobile phones, it may not be a good idea to have those who are driving in emergency situations using their phone to text their request for 911 assistance. Admittedly, texting would provide benefits to those who are unable to speak, have limited battery life or do not have clear cell reception. It remains to be seen whether these benefits are sufficient to offset the human costs that result from an increase in distracted driving. Perhaps, the problem can be resolved by extending the ban on texting to include the 911 emergency system.

We can only hope that the addition of texting to the 911 system does not result in a significant increase in Georgia car accidents. Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing those who suffer serious injury or death in Georgia car accidents including those caused by distracted drivers for over 25 years. If a distracted driver has seriously injured you or a family member, we can help you seek the compensation that you need to get your life back on track. We are committed to providing you with exceptional services and to being the best car accident lawyers in Georgia. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.