March 13, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Does Michigan need stricter distracted driving laws?
Article provided by MATZ & PIETSCH PC
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In the age of cellphone addiction, distracted drivers have become a common phenomenon on our roadways -- often leading to serious motor vehicle accidents. In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 3,331 people lost their lives in distracted driving accidents across the country. In addition, approximately 387,000 people sustained personal injuries in such crashes that year.
To prevent these dangerous collisions, many states -- including Michigan -- have enacted distracted driving laws, prohibiting certain types of risky behaviors. In Michigan, all motorists are banned from texting while behind the wheel.
Texting bans are considered especially important, as texting distracts drivers visually, manually and cognitively. According to a study conducted by Virginia Tech, drivers who text while behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident than non-distracted drivers.
Some people in Michigan are questioning whether the penalties associated with the texting while driving law are severe enough to deter drivers from participating in this hazardous behavior. The texting ban took effect in July 2010, and since then approximately 2,300 citations have been issued. Currently, motorists who receive a ticket for a first violation of the texting ban are fined $100. All subsequent violations result in a fine of $200.
Avoid dangerous distracted driving accidents in Michigan
According to an analysis of Michigan State Police traffic accident data conducted by MLive.com, a minimum of 800 motor vehicle accidents caused by cellphone use have taken place each year since 2001 in the state. Over a 10-year period, there were over 9,000 motor vehicle accidents in Michigan involving some type of cellphone use -- including talking and texting.
One of the most deadly years in Michigan -- 2010 -- saw 881 auto accidents involving cellphone use, which resulted in 290 people sustaining personal injuries and five fatalities.
The Michigan State Police traffic collision data revealed that approximately one-half of all drivers involved in distracted driving accidents were in their teens or 20s. In addition, around one-third of drivers distracted by cellphones when a collision occurred were between the ages of 30 and 49.
In fact, national data has shown that younger drivers are the age group most likely to be involved in a distracted driving collision. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 11 percent of drivers under 20 years of age who caused an auto accident were distracted when the collision occurred.
When someone is injured in a distracted driving accident, he or she may be entitled to damages for the harm caused. Consulting with a skilled, Michigan personal injury attorney will ensure your rights are protected.---
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