South Carolina legislators should be commended for considering a bill that would prohibit the use of hand-held electronic devices while driving.

A recent study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that distracted driving is a major problem, and smartphones continue to be the leading source of distraction. Some evidence shows that the problem is getting worse with more drivers using phones than ever before.

In South Carolina, 1,034 people died last year from auto accidents, and thousands more were seriously injured. Sadly, South Carolina has remained over the past several years among the top five states for auto fatalities per million miles driven.

Polling data from the American Property and Casualty Insurers Association revealed that 65 percent of South Carolinians support a “hands-free” law. Georgia recently enacted similar legislation and is already starting to see a reduction in accidents and fatalities compared to the previous year.

Limiting distractions while driving will help reduce preventable deaths. It is time for South Carolina to join more than 15 other states and pass “hands-free” legislation.

Russ Dubisky

Stoneridge Drive

Columbia