We are all familiar with the act of distracted driving. Whether you’re checking your phone “really quick,” using the GPS, messing around with your car’s touchscreen or radio, distracted driving is a habit we can easily fall into without even being aware of how often we do it. How did these behaviors start in the first place and become so prevalent while we drive?
Advancements in electronics, smartphones, and technology in cars can certainly be blamed as part of the issue. Cell phone use while driving has emerged as one of the leading causes of distracted driving related car accidents in the nation. While texting and talking on phones while driving is extremely common, research has shown it is just one of many types of distractions leading to accidents on U.S. roads.
So how do we put an end to these dangerous behaviors that seem almost normal to drivers these days? Technology and cell phone use don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Fortunately, numerous nationwide initiatives have been put into place to prevent drivers from using their phones or giving in to distractions, but are they working? Read below to get the latest scoop on distracted driving laws and the dangers that remain.
State Laws to End Distracted Driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there have been roughly 3,030 distracted driving crashes every year for the past five years. More than 400 crashes a year involved cell phones. About 450 people a year die from distracted driving accidents involving cell phones. Because of this, there have been numerous state and federal laws put in to place to reduce distracted driving across the country, including:
- 20 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.
- No state prohibits ALL cell phone use for ALL drivers yet.
- 38 states and D.C. ban all cell phone use by novice or teen drivers
- 21 states and D.C. prohibit any cell phone use for school bus drivers.
- 48 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers.
- Each state has its own specific laws regulating cell phone use and texting while driving, which you can read here.
Distracted Driving Persists
Despite these laws and emergent research detailing the life-threatening risks of distracted driving behaviors, the prevalence of cell phone use and giving in to distractions persists. Unfortunately, not all drivers realize or respect the laws that have been established to make our roads safer.
If you have been in an accident due to the negligence of a distracted or reckless driver, we can help. Contact the auto accident attorneys at Liggett Law Group today for a free case evaluation.