More than nine people are killed and 1,060 others injured in crashes caused by inattentive driving every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Department of Transportation reports that in 2011, 3,331 people lost their lives in car accidents involving a distracted driver.
Many laws around the country aim to address the problem, with a primary focus on teen motorists. However, while novice, inexperienced drivers can be dangerous, it appears that experienced adults are also risky on the roads. This is because both adult and teen drivers suffer from the mutual urge to be constantly connected.
According to an AT&T survey, approximately 50 percent of adults admit to texting while driving. Furthermore, 98 percent of surveyed adults admit that the habit is wrong. With the exponential development of technological devices, the obsession with multitasking keeps growing. In fact, the study explains that 60 percent of respondents were not texting and driving only three years ago. Yet, these days, almost everyone carries a smartphone, iPad or similar device.
Fortunately, there has been a national campaign against distracted driving. For example, the Governors Highway Safety Association reports that 39 states now have existing bans on texting while driving, and five additional states prohibit the practice for inexperienced drivers.
Many other practices constitute distracted driving, but texting while driving is considered the most dangerous as it involves the eyes, hands and mind. Moreover, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that transmitting or receiving a text takes a motorist's eyes off the task of driving for approximately 4.6 seconds.
Texting is outlawed for all drivers in Connecticut. Also, adult drivers must use hands-free cellphone devices. There is a comprehensive ban for minors. They cannot use any wireless phones (including hands-free) or mobile electronic devices while driving. School bus operators are similarly prohibited from using cellphones while driving.
While laws are currently in place, this is not the end of the battle against inattentive driving. As the fascination with technology grows, safety advocates and lawmakers are evolving regulations at a parallel rate. The Connecticut legislature has made 2013 proposals, which continue to address the problem. House Bill 5248, for example, would increase fines and penalties associated with the practice.
If you have been in an accident involving an inattentive or careless driver, contact an experienced personal injury law attorney in your area. You deserve to be compensated for the careless actions of another.