Recently, The Charlotte Observer reported an 80-year-old driver blew through a stop sign and crashed into a marked police cruiser in New Jersey. Ironically, the patrolman in that vehicle had been assigned to enforce the state’s “U Drive, U Text, U Pay” campaign aimed at curbing distracted driving.
The driver was reportedly distracted by his cell phone navigation feature at the time of the crash. He failed to see the stop sign and breezed right through it, suddenly slamming into the police officer, who suffered a hand injury.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the National Safety Council recently conducted a survey showing 47 percent say they are “comfortable” texting while driving. Meanwhile, The Charlotte Observer reports pedestrian deaths in North Carolina have risen to the highest they have been in 40 years – a trend police attribute to higher rates of driver distraction. And a new report by CNN Money reveals distracted drivers are resulting in higher than ever insurance rate hikes. In fact, as The Charlotte Observer reports, the state Department of Insurance in North Carolina reported there will be an average 13.8 percent increase in auto insurance rates. If approved, those rates would go up Oct. 1st. Drivers “addicted to smartphones” are cited by the insurance industry as a top reason why insurance rates must go up. Continue reading