August 28, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Salt Lake City is a bustling metropolis fed by two major highways--Interstate 15 and Interstate 80. These two veins are crowded with commuters and travelers coming in from different points in the valley every day and road traffic can be a challenge. Absolute concentration is needed but many people, including teens, take advantage of their time in the car to send messages to friends on their cell phones or chat. As a result, distracted driving has been a factor in many car accidents
Utahns and distracted driving
A report from the Utah Department of Public Safety shows that distraction caused at least nine percent of crashes that occurred between the years 2006 and 2011. However, since drivers are often reluctant to implicate themselves in a crash, those numbers could be higher than that. In 2011 alone, distracted drivers were responsible for close to 5,000 collisions. The sources of distraction do not appear to have been tracked, but cell phone use is a well-known factor.
Keeping teens off of the phone while behind the wheel
This year, the Utah legislature took another step in reducing distracted driving, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. The law, which has already gone into effect, makes it illegal for teen drivers to use a cell phone while driving. Teen drivers are responsible for 1 out of five collisions involving distracted behavior.
Teens who violate the ban will be fined $25 but there are exceptions. For example, if a teen is talking to a parent or making an emergency call, they are exempt from the penalty. While some teens will still continue to use their phones, it is hoped that the new law will encourage most to put the phone on silent and out of hands reach when they are driving.
The dangers of cell phone use for every driver
Drivers of all ages increase their risk of being involved in a car accident. Utah, like many states, has already passed a law making it illegal for drivers to text while driving but even talking on a cell phone can be dangerous. The Governors Highway Safety Association recommended in 2012 that states should pass laws to ban drivers from using cell phones at all.
A survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals several findings about drivers and cell phone use. These findings are:
Many drivers will answer their cell phone when it rings, while driving.
There is strong support for laws that ban cell phone use by drivers.
Passengers are uncomfortable when the driver uses their cell phone.
Drivers admit drifting out of their lane, increasing speed, and decreasing speed while using their cell phone.
Drivers do not think about the safety of themselves or others when deciding to send a text or make a call while driving.
Encouraging teen drivers to put down their phones is a good start, but drivers of all ages should commit to eliminating this type of distraction. When a person is injured by a distracted driver, they should talk about their case with a qualified attorney.