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Despite the dangers, distracted driving persists on Alabama roads

In spite of the many known dangers, Alabama drivers continue to drive while distracted.
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    January 08, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Despite the dangers, distracted driving persists on Alabama roads

Article provided by The Vance Law Firm, P.C.
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In spite of laws passed across the country, massive public education campaigns incorporating print and visual media and daily news stories about horrific crashes, distracted driving persists on roads throughout Alabama and the entire nation. Though drivers have always been distracted by outside influences like scenery or passenger conversations, the advent of mobile communication technologies like the cellphone and text messaging - and myriad studies proving how incredibly distracting they are - have brought the distracted driving issue to the forefront.

Legislative attention

Alabama's legislature has taken notice, passing laws aimed at curbing the practice of distracted driving. The state has enacted a full ban on text messaging behind the wheel, making it a primary offense for any driver, regardless of age, to use a handheld device to send or read a text message, email or instant message while driving. Furthermore, novice drivers (those who are 16 or 17 years old and have had an intermediate license for less than six months) aren't allowed to use a cellphone behind the wheel, regardless of whether it is handheld or hands-free.

Even though Alabama's government has acted, the practice of distracted driving still continues. The federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2012 alone, nearly 3,400 people were killed and another 421,000 injured in distracted driving-related accidents. This is in spite of the fact that most states have passed some form of texting ban, and the federal government now forbids its employees - regardless of where they live - from using handheld cell phones while behind the wheel of government vehicles or on the job in a personal vehicle.

The truth about texting

The reason that text messaging behind the wheel gets so much attention is because it is one of the most distracting things someone can do. It involves three different types of distractions:
-Cognitive - having to think about the sender's message and form coherent responses or draft messages to go to another recipient takes up a huge amount of brain resources.
-Manual - the driver's hands come off the wheel while texting, something that can slow reaction times and prevent the driver from avoiding obstacles like sudden changes in traffic speed.
-Visual - looking down at the screen of a phone to read a text takes the driver's eyes off the road for seconds; at highway speeds, this can mean a driver covers the length of a football field all without looking at the road ahead.

Several recent studies have proven the depth of the distraction caused by texting, and have shown that, contrary to popular belief, the distraction is not significantly lessened by using hands-free texting devices.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver? An experienced Alabama personal injury attorney can help you hold that driver responsible for the harms you have suffered as a result of his reckless actions.

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