September 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- A report released by the Governors' Highway Safety Association in July 2013 entitled "2013 Distracted Driving: Survey of the States" revealed that states are targeting distracted driving with a variety of methods. This study is a follow-up to the 2010 study the GHSA conducted about states' policies about distracted driving. The 2013 report found a 43 percent increase in the number of states that considered distracted driving a "priority issue."
Passing and enforcing laws
In an effort to reduce the number of auto accidents
, many states have passed laws prohibiting a number of distracted driving behaviors. The report found that 47 states and Washington D.C. have laws regulating cell phone use while driving. No state in the U.S. completely bans cell phone use while driving for all drivers, but 37 states and D.C. prohibits teenagers from any cell phone use. D.C. and 11 other states have outlawed hand-held cell phone use, requiring drivers to have hands-free devices if they want to use their phones in their vehicles. The number of states banning drivers from sending text messages increased by 45 percent from 2010 to 2013, rising from 28 states to 41.
Law enforcement officers are increasing enforcement of distracted driving laws, as well. The report found a notable increase in the number of law enforcement agencies that included distracted driving monitoring as part of routine traffic patrols as well as the number of agencies participating in events focusing on distracted driving such as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
Public awareness campaigns
The GHSA report found that states are undertaking more public safety education campaigns, as well. The number of states with distracted driving awareness campaigns went from 37 in 2010 to 48 in 2013, a 26 percent increase. States are also using social media to get their safety message across. States' use of sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to communicate with residents about distracted driving increased by 125 percent from 2010 to 2013.
States are focusing their educational efforts more on young drivers, with 27 states and D.C. developing distracted driving educational materials specifically for teen drivers. This is a 22 percent increase from the number of state with such programs in 2010.
The report found that more states are focusing on improving data collection methods for auto accidents
attributable to distracted driving in order to fully understand the extent of the danger of distracted driving. While the number of states collecting distracted driving data in police reports about auto accidents only increased from 43 in 2010 to 47 in 2013, 18 states reported they planned improvements in their distracted driving data collection methods in the coming year.
While states are making eliminating distracted driving more of a priority, the message does not sink in to all drivers. Many people are unwilling to put down their phones and fully concentrate on driving, and those people cause motor vehicle accidents. If you have been involved in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver, speak with a personal injury attorney with a history of successfully recovering compensation for auto accident victims.
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