Perspective: A WIS editorial on distracted driving

A new Allstate Insurance ad makes a compelling case to restrict some dangerous teen driving behaviors. It said, "Remember all the stupid things you did behind the wheel when you were a teenager? Now, add a cell phone, a vanilla soy latte and an MP3 player."

The ad says multi-tasking and driving doubles the risk of accidents.

Last Spring, a bill banning 15 and 16-year-olds from using cell phones or texting while driving was defeated in South Carolina, but we need legislation and other common sense measures to curb this risky behavior.

For example, California bans the use of any cell phones by drivers under 18, and text messaging or handheld phone use by all drivers. North Carolina and at least 12 other states ban both young drivers and all school bus drivers from any cell phone use.

The simplest thing parents can do is to talk to teenagers about the real risks of multi-tasking while driving. 75% of teens say parents can influence their driving habits. So, parents, set a good example. Don't drive with a phone in your hand, and tell your child why. You could save lives.

That's my perspective. I'd like to hear yours!