A controversial new study released recently by the Highway Loss Data Institute, HLDI disputes the findings that new state laws banning cell phone use and text messaging while driving actually decrease car crashes. Of course, actual collisions and deaths due to cell phone use speak otherwise as noted in this California auto accident lawyer discussions. As you might imagine, many lawmakers and organizations that promote no cell phone use while driving are disturbed at the message these new findings might send.
The group compared the monthly collision claims in four states that had laws banning cell phone use while operating their motor vehicles. The group found little difference in collision rates, but before you grab your cell phone in the car, you should know that distracted driving contributes to the 4,000 to 8,000 crashes every day in the United States and a serious Metrolink accident in California. Our universities are not safe from drivers, distracted while texting or using their cell phones. Furthermore, distracted drivers are responsible for at least half of the 6 million crashes per year.
Besides cell phone use and texting while driving, the Department of Transportation defines three types of distracted driving.
· Visual- taking your eyes off the road · Manual-taking your hands off the wheel · Cognitive-taking your mind off what you’re doing
Distracted driving is any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract them from driving their automobile in a safe manner. Some other forms of distracted driving are eating, drinking, talking, grooming, reading maps, changing radio stations or using navigation systems.
It only takes a moment to be distracted and cause serious personal injury. Additionally last year over 515,000 were injured in police reported accidents with at least one of the drivers were distracted and 5,870 were killed. The worst offenders are the 16-20 year old age group, but all demographic groups are guilty at some point of driving distracted.
The Foundation for Traffic Safety has gathered some helpful guideline for potential distracted drivers:
· Plan ahead-Check road maps and traffic conditions before you get on the road · Stow electronic devices-Turn off your phone while you’re in the car so you won’t be tempted to answer it.
· Prepare kids for the trip-Get the kids safely buckled up and situated with snacks and entertainment before you start driving. If you must deal with a child situation, pull over instead of turning around constantly.
· Don’t eat in your car-on a long trip always stop for breaks; don’t eat while driving.
· Prepare your vehicle before you start the engine- Adjust seat positions, climate control, sound systems before you take off.
· Groom yourself before you get in your car- Your car is not your bathroom. Brush your hair, shave, put on make-up before you get in your car.
Lastly, the Transportation Department has officially banned truck and bus drivers from sending text messages while driving. This prohibition affects all buses and trucks over 10,000 pounds and is effective immediately. In addition, President Obama has directed all federal employees not to engage in texting while driving government-owned vehicles.
All of these new rulings are a positive step in keeping our roadways safe for drivers.