Text discrepancies

with Sharon Peters

Q: Is it illegal to text while driving in all 50 states?

A: Not quite. I did not do this stateby state survey myself; the Associated Press reported it in June, using some information from AAA, and I trust the results: Montana is the only state that doesn’t ban at least some drivers from texting (though some Montana cities and counties do ban texting — a truly bizarre way for a state to operate, if you ask me, but they didn’t).

According to the AP report, 44 states and Washington, D.C. ban texting by all drivers. The laws in a few states ban texting only for young or inexperienced drivers and for some bus drivers. In Arizona only bus drivers are breaking the law if they text while driving (bus drivers evidently being less capable of multi-tasking, in the eyes of Arizona lawmakers, than all the other self-absorbed dim bulbs who believe that, counter to all research, they are capable of eating, drinking, applying makeup and texting while maneuvering 3,500 pounds of metal through crowded streets).

Q: I test drove a Kia Sorento and liked it. It has a button called ECO to push for better gas mileage. The sales guy explained how it works, but it made no sense — too technical. And if it really does improve fuel economy, why wouldn’t I use it all the time?

A: The ECO button can improve efficiency by lessening throttle response and downshifts (fuel wasters). But this isn’t a tiny, lightweight vehicle, so you’ll have markedly less pickup and a more sluggish response when you’re in ECO mode, so you wouldn’t want to use it all the time.

© CTW Features

What’s your question? Sharon Peters would like to hear about what’s on your mind when it comes to caring for, driving and repairing your vehicle. Email Sharon@ctwfeatures.com.