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All Press Releases for December 12, 2013 »
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California's plan to crack down on distracted driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 3,000 Americans lose their lives each year due to distracted driving.
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    December 12, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- It's not uncommon these days for people to be involved in a full conversation with another individual via cell phone while driving; however, people lose their lives every day in California for doing just that. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 3,000 Americans lose their lives each year due to distracted driving. Various national campaigns and research projects have reached out to Americans in an attempt to educate them on the dangers of distracted driving. California lawmakers are following the trend by cracking down on distracted drivers.

Defining distracted driving

With the development of new technology and innovative devices, driving has become a lot more dangerous. The term distracted driving can be used to encompass a variety of activities, including the following:
- Using a GPS navigation system.
- Eating and drinking.
- Reading maps, texts or email.
- Adjusting your CD player, radio or MP3 player.
- Watching a video or adjusting the entertainment center.
- Talking to passengers.
- Tending to children.
- Texting or talking on a cell phone.

Any activity that diverts your focus off of the road puts you at risk. In fact, by your cellphone while operating a vehicle, you can increase your risk of an accident by over 400 percent.

With an increasing amount of support from numerous studies indicating that distracted driving is responsible for a substantial amount of fatalities, California has banned the use of handheld cellphones and texting for all drivers. Hands free devices, however, are still acceptable while driving, though many still consider it to be a distraction. Commercial truck drivers and bus drivers are restricted from using any type of cellphone device, handheld or hands free, or texting while driving. If you are convicted of texting while driving, you could receive a fine of at least $159.

Challenges in enforcing anti-texting and cell phone laws

While California has taken a step in the right direction by implementing anti-texting and distracted driving laws, California Highway Patrol has admitted that enforcing these laws are challenging. Not only must the officer spot a driver using their cellphone, but they must visually confirm that the driver is engaging in writing a digital message. The state hopes that by enforcing the regulations and educating drivers on the dangers of distracted driving, people will wait to text until they are stopped, simply because it saves lives.

Highlighting the issue

The U.S. DOT has developed a Driver Distraction Program Plan in order to address the problem of distracted driving in America. This plan involves educating U.S. citizens on the extent of the issue, improving vehicle devices in order to minimize distraction, and to generally improve driver behavior. Some strategies include:
- Raising public awareness.
- Implementing and enforcing public policies on distracted driving.
- Research and development of anti-distraction strategies.

Many Americans approve of stricter anti-texting laws in order to reduce their risk of being involved in a distracted driving accident.

Call an attorney

If you have been involved in an accident involving a distracted driver, you should call an experienced attorney right away. By partnering with a car accident attorney, you can ensure that you will receive the compensation you deserve for your damaged property, injuries, as well as pain and suffering.

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