March 20, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Raising awareness to fight distracted driving in Wisconsin
Article provided by The Law Offices of John V. O'Connor, LLC
Visit us at http://www.jvoconnor.com/
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin and throughout the nation will be partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation to promote safer driving practices.
Three types of distracted driving
Dangerous distractions may come in many different forms when driving. The most obvious types of distractions are activities that occupy a driver's eyes, hands or both. Even seemingly innocuous activities such as searching for a roadside destination or changing the radio station can often be distracting enough to cause a traffic accident.
In other cases, drivers may engage in distracted driving without ever taking their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel, since some forms of distraction are purely cognitive in nature. For instance, when lost in thought or chatting with a passenger, a driver may be less focused on the road and therefore slower to react to hazards and changing traffic conditions. While cognitive distraction may be more easily overlooked than manual or visual distraction, it is no less dangerous.
Texting while driving
In recent years, text messaging has quickly become one of the most common sources of distracted driving. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most dangerous; unlike most distracting activities that a driver may engage in, texting involves all three forms of distraction at once -- manual, visual and cognitive.
In the time it takes to send or receive a text message, a distracted driver traveling at 55 miles per hour looks away from the road for long enough to cover the length of a football field, according to a study at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Some experts, including Professor David Strayer of the University of Utah, believe that texting while driving may be even more deadly than drunk driving.
Strayer has been studying distracted driving for more than a decade, and has concluded that texting while driving creates a level of impairment equivalent to that of a 0.08 blood alcohol content. In Wisconsin and every other U.S. state, a driver with a BAC of 0.08 or above is considered legally intoxicated and can be charged with drunk driving.
Wisconsin distracted driving law
Wisconsin state law prohibits texting and emailing while driving. Additional restrictions apply to certain teen drivers and others with instruction permits or probationary licenses. These drivers are barred from using cellphones for any purpose -- talking as well as texting -- except in an emergency. The law is intended to help prevent accidents and injuries by keeping inexperienced drivers focused on the road.
People who are harmed by distracted or reckless driving in Wisconsin may be entitled to receive financial compensation for their medical bills, lost income and other losses they have suffered as a result of their injuries. For more information about pursuing a claim for compensation after a distracted driving crash, contact a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer.---
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