Even though nearly all of the states have enacted laws prohibiting cell phone usage while driving, a new study by the National Traffic Safety Administration (NTSA) had found that texting while driving has actually increased by 50% in the past year.
In the latest study, researchers polled drivers and also conducted observations at stoplights and intersections.
Researches set up their study at stoplights and intersections. They observed that 1% of the drivers were texting or using hand-held devices and were texting, e-mailing, using navigation systems, surfing the internet, dialing, playing games, or holding phones in front of their faces.
Researchers surveyed drivers 18 years of age and older. 50% of younger drivers – those between the ages of 21 ad 24 – admitted to texting while driving.
Distracted driving is dangerous. According to NTSA figures, in 2009, 5,500 Americans were killed and 450,000 were injured in distracted-driving related car accidents.
Cases in the News
There have been two high-profile cases in which texting drivers were involved in fatal car accidents.
Joseph Brynda, 20, an Illinois man, received a 7 years sentence this week in the pedestrian accident death of Phillip Rangel, 60, who was killed while walking in a crosswalk. Brynda was under the influence of both alcohol and freon and was driving with his knees while texting when Rangel was hit.
Danae Marie Miller, a 22-year-old California woman, was charged with vehicular manslaughter after she hit and killed Armine Britel, 40, who was riding a bicycle when he was hit by Miller. Miller was texting when the bicycle-car accident occurred and she was also under the influence. She faces a 10-year prison sentence. Her court date is December 12.
In Olympia, Washington, Ashley R. Davis-Jones, was believed to be texting when her car crossed the centerline and collided head-on with another vehicle. IN this accident, Davis-Jones was killed.
Several pilot projects, one in Syracuse, N.Y., and one in Hartford, Conn, found that strictly enforcing cell phone laws and public education campaigns do affect motorists habits. In Syracuse, texting and using cell phones dropped by 30% after enforcement and publicity campaigns. Hartford, after enforcement and publicity, hand-held cell phone use dropped 57% and texting dropped by nearly 75%.
This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. Our Bellevue car accident lawyers represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by the negligence of another. Read, “What if my accident was caused by someone using a cell phone?” if you believe your car accident was caused by someones negligent use of a cell phone.
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