Oprah Implores Viewers to Stop Texting While Driving

Texting and talking while driving became a crime after the first of the year

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    Oprah could be ditching her Chicago digs and taking her popular daytime talkfest out west to Los Angeles so that she can broadcast it on cable television, says TV gossip guru Nikki Finke.

    Oprah Winfrey is using her considerible influence to implore Americans to stop talking and driving.

    Winfrey said Thursday she wants people to know "how absolutely stupid it is that we continue to text and drive." She's asking drivers to commit to not text-messaging or talking on cell phones while driving.

    The talk show host will dedicate Monday's show to people who have lost family and friends to "driving-distracted" crashes.

    She should have plenty of fodder. According to the Harvard Center of Risk Analysis, cell phone use contributes to 6 percent of all crashes, which equates to 636,000 crashes, 330,000 injuries, and 2600 deaths each year.

    Oprah's plea would not be necessary if people simply followed the law.

    Texting while driving became illegal in the state of Illinois after the first of the year. Chicago has had a texting ban in place since October 2008.