North Carolina Loses Federal Distracted Driving Grant Money

Distracted driving among young people has received an overwhelming amount of attention in recent years. In response, Congress promised federal grant money to states that enacted tough laws against distracted driving. Many states, including North Carolina, had hoped to receive federal grant money from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Despite the disappearance of the expected grant money, our Asheville car accident attorneys are committed to raising awareness about distracted driving to prevent collisions.

Many states were disqualified from the grant program because their distracted driving laws were not considered harsh enough. In the case of North Carolina the law, which has been enforced since December 1, 2009: drivers are not banned from texting when their vehicle is stopped.

A second deficiency in the law is that it only bans the use of cellphones as opposed to all mobile electronic devices. Whereas, Congress defined texting more broadly to include surfing the web on a tablet computer. Congress also viewed driving as including instances when the vehicle is temporarily stopped (such as at traffic lights).

North Carolina had hoped to receive between 200,000 and 300,000 dollars in federal grant money to use for a targeted social media campaign about the dangers of distracted driving.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, driver distraction caused 18 percent of all fatal crashes in 2010 with 3,092 people killed. In addition, 416,000 people were injured as the result of distracted driving.

Research indicates that 40% of American teenagers claim they have been in a vehicle when the driver was distracted by a cellphone. Additional research conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation institute revealed that distracted substantially raises the likelihood a crash will occur – making it 23 times more likely a crash will occur when compared with non-distracted driving. In a survey of 18 to 20 year old drivers who were involved in an accident, 11% admitted they were receiving or sending a text message when the accident occurred.

For more information on the fight against distracted driving individuals should view the Official US Government Website for Distracted Driving at www.distraction.gov.

The Federal Communications Commission advises parents to give clear instructions to their teenaged children regarding texting and driving. Parents should start to educate their children before they reach driving age about the dangers of distracted driving. Teenage drivers should know that if they look away from the road for just a few seconds someone could be seriously injured or killed.

Parents are also encouraged to lead by example and never text when they are driving. Young drivers will mimic their parent’s behavior so always pull over to a safe place before using your mobile device. Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission encourages parents to inform friends and family of the importance of distraction free driving.

If your teenaged son or daughter is nearing driving age, it is important to ensure they know how dangerous distracted driving can be for them, their passengers, and others on the roadway. If you have been in a recent accident with a teen and you believe they were texting you should contact an experienced professional because you may be entitled to compensation.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.

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