Distracted Driving/Texting While Driving and the Law:
There have been many attempts to create legislation that would limit the use of cell phones while driving. The proposed legislation has varied everywhere from partial use to a complete ban. According to a study conducted by Nationwide, 8 out of 10 drivers support some type of cell phone usage restriction. Also, with new and increasingly standard safety options such as OnStar, cell phone use for emergency situations may not even be necessary.
Distracted Driving Statistics:
The University of Utah conducted a study that revealed that driving while distracted from cell phone use, whether hand held or hands free, extends a driver’s reaction as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08%. And according to a study conducted by Virginia Tech/NHTSA, the number one source of driver inattention is use of a wireless device. This would make sense given Carnegie Mellon’s study which found that the amount of brain activity associated with driving is reduced by 37% when using a cell phone. In addition, texting while driving can take away all of a driver’s attention by making them lose eye contact with the road and by restricting the use of either one or both of their hands.
A NHTSA, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study revealed that drivers that use cell phones are four times as likely to get into crashes that are serious enough to injure them. This goes hand in hand with the most recent Florida Traffic Crash Statistics that indicate that thousands of drivers in Florida are injured and between 7-15 people are killed due to distracted driving per year.
A Nationwide statistic states that 10% of drivers between the ages of 16-24 are on their phone at any given time. In addition, distracted driving is a factor in 25% of police reported crashes. If you think about it, this statistic likely does not account for all of the people who deny or fail to report that they were distracted prior to their crash.
The obvious conclusion is that cell phone use while driving is dangerous and can lead to serious injury or death. While it is a good idea to have a cell phone for emergency situations, driving while talking or texting on your cell phone may not be a good idea. People injured in an automobile accident caused by a driver who was distracted due to cell phone use can most likely recover for their injuries. Contact an experienced South Florida personal injury attorney to discuss your rights.