In an article entitled “Police Losing Battle to Get Drivers to Put Down Their Phones” the New York Times published that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 3,500 people died in crashes involving distracted drivers in the United States and Puerto Rico in 2015. The agency estimated that 431,000 people were injured in distracted driving crashes the year before. The number of deaths reported as a direct cause of cell phone distraction in 2015 was 476.
According to the Virginia Tech Traffic Institute, a driver’s eyes are away from the road for an average of five seconds while texting. That’s enough time to cover a football field at 55 mph with your eyes closed. What comes to issue is the fact that accidents involving injuries or deaths due to cell phone use are incredibly unreported. That’s because police are required to rely on a driver’s denial of cellphone use after an accident.
Enter the Textalyzer
Lawmakers in both New York and Texas have proposed providing police with the Textalyzer device that searches a suspect’s phone for activity immediately before a crash. Both legislatures are trying to work through the legal objections to the device.
Enforcement or public awareness?
Louisiana is an example of a state that has raised its texting while driving fine to $500 for a first offense. Other states like New York assess points against a driver’s license. The Harvard School of Public Health is working on a public awareness campaign against distracted driving that’s much like the successful designated driver campaign to deter drunk driving.
Legislatures and law enforcement aren’t making much progress in their campaigns against distracted drivers.Your business or personal life can be put on hold by ignoring these facts. Also be conscious about the people around you on the road, they deserve that. If you or somebody close to you was hurt by a distracted driver, call an Austin car wreck attorney from Terry & Kelly at 512-910-2000.
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