As states slowly jump on board with texting bans and laws preventing cell phone use while operating a vehicle, our Charlotte car accident lawyers want to reiterate that not only are texters in North Carolina breaking the law, you could be putting someone’s life in jeopardy every time you click send or check your Facebook page when you are behind the wheel.
The Governors Highway Safety Association recently released the results of a comprehensive distracted driving study. Researchers took an in-depth look at how being distracted while operating a vehicle impacts performance, what risks are involved and what approach states can take to reduce distracted driving accidents in North Carolina and elsewhere in the country.
A recent study that followed 100 drivers non-stop for an entire year found that drivers became distracted 25- to 50-percent of the time they were behind the wheel. A good number of surveys have also been given to drivers in which most conclude that more than 65 percent of motorists admittedly use a cell phone while they drive and a high number admit to texting while they drive.
More research needs to be done on how crash risks are affected by distractions. Little is known except that there is a direct correlation of cell phone use to being involved in a crash, but to what degree still needs to be determined. It is also probable that texting presents a higher risk for a crash than talking because you are actually taking your hands and eyes off the road to text while still trying to control the steering wheel.
Few countermeasures have been proven effective to deter the undesirable behavior that kills so many people every year. A rumble strip can alert a driver who is texting that they are veering off the roadway, but it doesn’t prevent them from losing control or crashing into another vehicle.
States have adopted laws to ban texting or talking, yet motorists take their chances anyway and worry about the consequences of getting caught or causing an accident later. Various campaigns are carried out nationwide to grab the attention of texters and the risks they take when they try to multi-task behind the wheel. Awareness has produced some positive results but the risks are still there for motorists who continue to practice the unsafe behavior.
The GHSA recommends that states ban texting and cell phone use for novice drivers. North Carolina already considers it a primary offense if drivers under 18 are observed texting or talking while they drive. The GHSA also recommends that every state enforces a texting ban on all drivers. North Carolina drivers who text can be pulled over without other cause and be penalized for breaking the law.
Another suggestion made by GHSA is that states should have a stricter enforcement of the laws already in place. North Carolina law enforcement officials who turn the other cheek or fail to react when they see a driver violating a texting ban aren’t helping the cause. If motorists feared they would be ticketed for texting, they might think twice before they respond to a text alert while they drive.
Much of the focus for distracted driving has been on the teen age group. Several campaigns, programs, and initiatives are offered to teens nationwide because this is the social media induced age group that can’t live without a phone attached their hand.
Arbella Insurance Group sponsors Distractology 101, a crash course that speaks the language of teen drivers residing in Massachusetts and the Northeast region. Though it hasn’t quite migrated this far south, the training course is an excellent concept and a memorable experience for teens that have an opportunity to participate.
The 45-minute simulated course gives teen’s real time experiences with hidden hazards, failed reactions and unavoidable accidents all while they are trying to text and drive. Once the training is completed, teens can take the Distract-O-Meter Challenge to measure how much they have learned. Efforts need to continue to be made in order to save lives until each and every motorist realizes the dangers of distracted driving and the consequences that may follow.
The Lee Law Offices, P.A. are a dedicated team of car accident attorneys that are experienced in handling distracted driving cases throughout North Carolina. If you have been injured call for a free appointment at 1-800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Respondents of Nationwide Survey Rate Peers as Poor Drivers Who Cause Car Accidents in Charlotte, Elsewhere, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, September 12, 2011.
North Carolina Distracted Driving Accidents Costly for Families, Require Experienced Law Firm, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, August 25, 2011.
New Technology Could Lead to More Defective Vehicles, Putting Motorists at Risk of Car Accidents in Winston-Salem, Nationwide, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, August 9, 2011.