March 21, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- California bill would broaden teenage distracted driving law
In California, it is currently illegal for drivers younger than 18 to use a hand-held or hands-free cellphones while behind the wheel. Also, texting while driving is prohibited for drivers of all ages. However, one lawmaker thinks that the current distracted driving laws do not go far enough, particularly for teenagers.
The lawmaker, Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, believes that the current distracted driving law must be changed to keep up with emerging mobile technology. As a result, Galgiani recently proposed a bill aimed at distracted teenage drivers that would broaden the current law.
The bill, Senate Bill 194, would take the current law regarding cellphone use among teenage drivers a step further, by including new technologies in the ban. The new bill would essentially prohibit drivers younger than 18 years of age from using all electronic wireless communication devices while behind the wheel, regardless of whether the device is voice activated, hand-held or hands-free.
Among the automotive technology that would be included in the ban if the bill passes is Siri voice integration. Additionally, hands-free options such as Bluetooth voice activated options that are integrated into the steering columns of new car models would also be included in the ban.
Teens and distracted driving
Galgiani's decision to target teen drivers is backed by a large quantity of research. Government studies and statistics show that teens are more likely to become distracted while behind the wheel than older drivers. Part of the reason is that they are simply more likely to send or read texts while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers under 25 are three times more likely to do so. Teens' inclination towards texting puts them at an elevated risk of having a car accident
--23 times the normal risk according to the Department of Transportation.
In addition, other studies have shown that teenage brains often have an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex, which is the control center of the brain, when they reach driving age. As a result, it is more difficult for them to focus on a single task. Studies have shown that unlike older drivers, when a teen driver is distracted by something, such as the ringing of a cellphone, it can more easily divert the cranial resources that are devoted to maintaining control of the vehicle. This significantly increases the likelihood of a car accident.
An attorney can help
Whether the bill will become law is unknown at this time. Either way, inattentive driving is against the law. If a person or their loved one has been injured by an inattentive driver, they are well advised to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn about their right to compensation.
Article provided by Law Offices of Daral B. Mazzarella
Visit us at mazzarellalaw.com---
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