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Distracted Driving an Epidemic, Says CDC

Distracted driving has reached epidemic proportions, according to a survey released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in June of 2012. According to this survey, over 55 percent of high school seniors acknowledged that they had sent messages via text or e-mail while they were driving. The same survey said that approximately 40 percent of high school juniors had also e-mailed or texted while they were driving.

Distracted driving is rapidly becoming one of the worst threats on the road. In the second or two it takes to look down at the screen of a cellular phone, a car can travel a significant distance and, of course, that car may end up plowing into somebody in front of them or into a pedestrian crossing the road.

Tech Cures and Failures

According to an Associated Press report, the industry has responded to problems with people driving while distracted by releasing a range of cell phone apps that are designed to curb this behavior. Rather than relying upon the driver’s own sense of responsibility, these apps turn off or reduce the volume on cellular devices when they detect that they are moving at vehicle speeds. Results of these apps have been mixed, though they have proven somewhat popular.

At the same time that the technology sector is attempting to address this problem with new apps, the Transportation Department is looking to law enforcement. Hoping that a combination of public service messages and increased law enforcement will curb the problem, the Department is planning on spending millions in California and Delaware to address this issue, according to the same Associated Press reports.

Sensible Solutions

In Texas, there are restrictions on teenage drivers using cellular phones while they are in cars. There is no statewide ban on texting as of yet, however. Using cellular phones has long known to be dangerous when behind the wheel. Obviously, the easiest solution to this problem is to either turn your cellular phone off when you’re driving or to use a hands-free device. There are conflicting studies, however, where the safety of hands-free devices is concerned. Some of them maintain that there is an increase in safety when utilizing a hands-free device and others have found that there is no appreciable difference between the levels of distraction experienced by drivers utilizing hands-free devices as compared to those using a cellular phone with their hands.

Negligent Drivers

Driving while distracted, in some cases, may be determined to be a form of negligence by a jury. Drivers who have their vehicles wrecked or who suffer personal injuries because of a driver who was distracted by a cellular phone or any other electronic device may wish to contact an attorney about the matter. Rather than footing the entire bill for the repairs and the medical expenses yourself, an attorney may be able to present you with an option to file a lawsuit, which could win you significant compensation and, possibly, enough to more than pay for the damages and injuries that you suffered as a result of the other driver’s negligence.

 

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