Amid Call For Nationwide Ban, California Cellphone Laws Reduce Traffic Deaths
Distracted driving has become a prominent issue in recent years. No wonder: Distracted driving causes thousands of traffic deaths and nearly half a million car accidents each year. Drivers are 23 times more likely to get into a car accident when texting while driving, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. A study from The University of Utah found that a driver’s use of a cellphone, even if it is a hands-free model, is equivalent to having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent, the level that all states presume a driver to be intoxicated.
California has been ahead of the curve when it comes to distracted driving. In 2008, California banned the use of hand-held cellphones for all drivers. In addition, 16- and 17-year-olds cannot use hands-free devices. Since that time, the majority of states have passed legislation that, at a minimum, bans texting while driving.
Call For More Stringent Laws
Some agencies are calling for even more restrictions on cellphone use while driving. The National Transportation Safety Board recently recommended all states enact legislation that would ban all cellphone use by all drivers, whether handheld or hands-free. Currently no state has enacted such legislation.
Current California Laws Working
It is not clear that California or any other state will follow the NTSB’s recommendation. However, California’s existing laws seem to be performing their function admirably. Since 2008, traffic deaths involving hand-held cellphone use by a driver are down 47 percent, while overall traffic deaths are down 22 percent, the California Office of Traffic Safety reported. In addition, enforcement is up, with the California Department of Motor Vehicles reporting that convictions for driver cellphone use have increased 52 percent since 2009.
While these statistics are encouraging, distracted driving is by no means a thing of the past. During daylight hours, at any given time 13.5 million drivers are using a hand-held device, according to the NTSB. Since distracted drivers use 37 percent less brain power on driving than undistracted drivers, distracted driving poses a clear danger to everyone on the road.
If you have been injured in a car accident that may have been caused by a distracted driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your rights and legal options for compensation.
Contact Us For A Free Consultation
To discuss a car accident case with an experienced personal injury lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Mauro Fiore, Jr., by calling 866-583-9564. We have offices in Los Angeles, Monrovia, West Covina and Palm Desert.