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California's strict cellphone laws generates a decrease in fatal accidents

Currently, twelve states have implemented a strict ban of cellphone use and texting while driving.
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    January 17, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- California's strict cellphone laws generates a decrease in fatal accidents

Article provided by Law Office of Reuben J. Donig
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Since the cellphone craze was introduced in the states years ago, millions of Americans depend on their handheld smart phones and Bluetooth devices to keep them in touch with the rest of the world. San Mateo County is certainly no exception. Whether stuck in traffic or rushing to work, many residents are drawn to using their cellphones while driving. Unfortunately, increasing cellphone use caused a substantial rise in fatal automobile accidents due to distracted driving. Thanks to strict enforcement of California's cellphone laws, however, the state is finally seeing a decrease in the number of fatal distracted driving auto accidents according to Consumer Reports.

Statewide Cellphone Ban

Currently, twelve states have implemented a strict ban of cellphone use and texting while driving. Other states have partial bans on cellphone use, either banning handheld devices for teen drivers and bus drivers, or simply banning texting while driving. California is included in the twelve states that have incorporated a stricter policy, as they have banned handheld cellphone use and texting while driving for all drivers beginning in July of 2008.

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, deaths caused by handheld cell phone use have decreased by over 47 percent in the two years following the ban. Overall traffic fatalities have dropped by 22 percent.

Cellphone campaigns

The California Office of Traffic Safety kicked off the "It's Not Worth It" campaign in order to deter drivers from driving while distracted. Although California law enforcement threatens distracted drivers with a $159 fine for talking or texting on a cellphone while driving, some states have much steeper monetary consequences for the offense. Distracted drivers in New York, for instance, can receive up to a $400 fine per ticket. Increasing distracted driving fines in California continues to be up for discussion.

What you can do

While the numbers of fatal car accidents due to distracted driving have decreased, there are still a substantial number of accidents that occur each year. You can protect yourself, as well as the passengers in your car by obeying the following safety practices:
-Never talk on your phone while driving. Studies have shown that even talking on a hands free device can compromise your focus on the road. Simply avoid using your cellphone altogether while driving.
-Avoid programming your GPS or MP3 player while driving. Make sure everything is ready to go before you set out.
-If you need to read a map, adjust your CD player or tend to your children, always pull off to the side of the road before doing so.
-Don't get involved in a heated discussion with the passengers in your car.
-Avoid grooming yourself in the rearview mirror while driving.
-Eating and drinking can also pose a hazard.

By keeping your focus on the road while driving, you can increase the chances of staying safe.

Call an attorney

If you have been a victim of an automobile accident, you may want to carefully consider calling a reputable personal injury attorney. An experienced attorney in San Mateo County can help you receive the compensation you deserve as a victim of a car accident.

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