Texting While Driving is One of the Main Causes of Traffic Accidents

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Text messaging, i.e., texting, is very popular among drivers in the United States. The problem is that those people prefer texting while driving. This is especially true for drivers under 20 years of age. Young drivers make up about 27% of the participants in the fatal traffic accidents. It’s estimated that more than 650,000 drivers use electronic devices, including mobile phones, every second during daylight hours.

The combination of driving and texting is one of the main causes of traffic accidents. This way almost 500,000 people are killed or injured in traffic collisions each year in the United States. Though this happens all around the world, the U.S. is the leading country in this issue. Even 69% of Americans have stated that they often use their phone while driving. This is much more common case compared European countries. For example, 29 percent of people use the cell phone while driving in the United Kingdom.

There are a lot of debates regarding the driver distraction and cell phones. The laws and regulations are not the same for all states when it comes to this problem. Thus, some laws only refer to commercial drivers or novice drivers, whereas other regulations target all drivers. Likewise, some laws only apply to handheld electric devices, whereas others affect both hands-free and handheld devices. Here’s how some states ban the use of cell phone in traffic:

  • All cell phone ban – To date, no U.S. state prohibits all drivers from using mobile phones. However, 38 states plus D.C. have banned all cell phone use for teenage or novice drivers, while 21 states ban any use of the cellular phone for school bus drivers.
  • Handheld cellular phone use ban – A total of 14 states, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam ban the use of hand-held mobile phones for all drivers.
  • Texting ban – Even 47 U.S. states, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam ban texting for all drivers. The text messaging is prohibited for all teen and novice drivers in Missouri.

Strict laws present the best way to change bad driving behavior if enforced regularly. This approach has been giving good results in different traffic aspects. It has increased the use of seat belt and decreased alcohol-impaired driving. Ultimately, strong laws have significantly reduced crash deaths.

The distracted driving (or laws regulating driving) is subject to either primary or secondary enforcement by local authorities, county or state. The state-level laws related to cell phone use while driving is the primary enforcement type. This means the police officers can cite the drivers for handheld cell phone use no matter they didn’t make any other traffic violation. The novice drivers could be an exception in some cases. When it comes to the secondary enforcement, the officers can only cite or stop the drivers for the use of cell phones if they have committed another primary traffic offense (like failure to stop or speeding) simultaneously.

In addition to laws and regulations, it’s important to influence people to change their mind about cell phone use while driving. If we manage to reduce text messaging in traffic, that will also reduce the risks of accidents on American roads. This is going to be one of the biggest challenges for law enforcement authorities in the coming years.

 

August 15, 2017 В· Editorial Team В· Comments Closed
Posted in: News