Articles Tagged with texting and driving

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texting-and-driving-addiction-300x200Texting and driving has been a growing problem in the United States for years. More and more law enforcement officials are making efforts to reduce texting while driving in order to keep roads safer.

Finally, after six years of trying by the Texas legislature, texting while driving is illegal as of September 1, 2017. We were almost the last state in the U.S. to restrict this dangerous practice. A $25 citation and other restrictions watered the deterrent value down, but the new law making texting while driving a misdemeanor is a good start.

Another proposed statute that would have blocked municipalities from imposing their own stricter texting while driving regulations was not passed.

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buckles-032614Should a Person be Held Accountable for Texting a Driver Who is Involved in an Accident?

We all know that in many states it is illegal to text and drive. The dangers associated with such distracted driving are clear. However, the courts currently are trying to determine whether or not a person who knowingly texts someone who is driving can be held accountable if the person receiving the text is an accident. Recently in New Jersey, three judges decided that you don’t need to be the one driving to have accountability.

In 2009, a couple was badly injured when a truck driving in the opposite lane drifted into the center of the road and hit them while they were riding their motorcycle. As a result of the accident, both victims lost their left legs among other serious injuries. While they had already finished settling the case with the driver of the truck – who was convicted of texting and driving, they wanted to sue the driver’s girlfriend who had been sending him text messages right before the accident. Police were able to break down the events that happened during that day to determine that the driver had sent a text to his girlfriend mere seconds before the accident.

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car-accident-statistics-1Although automobile manufactures are always coming out with new and improved safety features, car accidents remain a leading cause of death and injury in Dallas and in the United States.

According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic-Safety Administration), the amount of traffic accidents has slowly decreased in Texas, but on average there are still about 3,300 fatalities a year in the Lone Star State alone. Surprisingly, at least 10% of those accidents involve drivers who are 16-20 years of age.

The main causes of most automobile accidents are drunk or distracted drivers. Despite all the public service announcements and growing awareness of the dangers of using cellular phones while driving, recent surveys show that most drivers are willing to risk others’ lives and their own to answer a call or text while behind the wheel. Texting increases the risk of having a car crash by a whopping 23 percent! For more information about distracted driving visit www.Distraction.gov.

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Angel Reyes Blog - Texting and Driving Now Worse Than Drinking and Driving

Distracted driving has been around as long as driving itself. Whether it is children crying or fighting in the back seat, a puppy jumping around on a driver’s lap, or simply taking one’s eyes of of the road to tune the radio, distracted driving has been the cause of countless motor vehicle accidents and fatalities. It’s just in the last five to ten years that distracted driving has become the number one cause of motor vehicle accidents surpassing driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition, distracted driving is the number one cause of death in young people under the age of 33. The primary reason for the surge in distracted driving accidents is the explosion of smart phone usage and using your device to send and receive text messages and receive and review notifications.

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distracted-driving-due-to-texting-300x213People often think that with experience comes wisdom, however in some cases the more experience we have the more stubborn we become. When it comes to the issue of texting and driving, we often associate teens and young adults as being the worst at texting and driving, given their lack of experience and addiction to their phones. However, in a recent study it was revealed that texting and driving can be worse for more experienced drivers.

The common assumption is that drivers who have been on the road longer are going to be better prepared to manage distractions and maintain safer driving habits. In the study, a group of 50 drivers between ages 18-59 were all put behind the wheel and sent text messages with simply questions by the researchers. Those who claimed to be frequent texters veered into other lanes about 25% of the time, while the older group veered into other lanes 80-100% of the time while replying to or reading texts.

Experienced drivers are often able to handle multiple distractions. These can include aggressive drivers around you, talkative passengers, and even food. But the distractions presented by texting and driving are completely unique. Older drivers may believe that a text is similar to the distractions they are used to, but texting takes a lot of our focus and takes our eyes off the road for dangerous amounts of time.

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dangers-of-distracted-driving-300x200All of us have different distractions that we face while driving, the most common of them being our cell phones. No matter what the distraction is, distracted driving is dangerous, not only to us but to other drivers and passengers onthe road.

State Trooper Kills Two In Tragic Accident

Kimberly Schlau of O’Fallon, Illinois witnessed the tragedy distracted driving can cause, when her two teenage daughters were killed instantly by a distracted state trooper. The trooper is believed to have been speeding to another crash and on his phone and on-board computer simultaneously when he struck the girls’ car. To honor her daughters’ memory, Schlau set up a foundation to provide educational opportunities to others in Southern Illinois. However, she is reminded each day what a dangerous and deadly act distracted driving is.

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Closeup of a smart phone with a female hand texting and driving.On November 18, the Bedford City Council passed a new ordinance banning the use of electronic devices while driving. The City of Bedford joins only a handful of Texas cities that have instituted a ban on electronic device use in vehicles. Arlington and Grand Prairie passed similar ordinances.

Electronic device use includes using cell phones in any capacity – texting, phone calls, internet browsing. The only electronic devices that may be used at any time in a moving vehicle are GPS navigation devices (dashboard mount or on-board systems). Cell phone calls may be placed using hands-free devices or in emergency situations.

Bedford is preparing an awareness campaign to alert citizens of the new ordinance and emphasize on the dangers of distracted driving.

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textdriveThe city council of Denton, Texas has banned texting while driving. The new regulation still allows talking on a phone while behind the wheel.

Some residents urged members of the governing body to prohibit all use of cell phones while behind the wheel. The issue raised a furor among some of those in attendance at the meeting. Gilmore Morris resigned form the Traffic Safety Commission, saying the Council did not go far enough in banning cell phones from the roads.

“You have shown no fortitude in dealing with this deadly problem,” Morris said.

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texting-drivingTexting while driving now kills more teenagers than driving while intoxicated. Over 3,000 teens died in 2013 while they tried to send a text message when they were behind the wheel of a car. Approximately 2,700 teenagers died as the result of driving while intoxicated.

The Centers for Disease Control recently conducted a study, in which almost half of teenagers admitted to texting while driving.

Teens who admitted to sending and receiving text messages while behind the wheel also reported engaging in other risky behaviors as well. This includes driving under the influence of alcohol. Teenagers who texted while driving were five times more likely than others to drive after drinking. Young people engaging in the risky behavior were also found to be more likely to not wear seat belts.

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no-texting-signTexting and driving is now against the law in Farmer branch, Texas. The City Council there passed a resolution forbidding the practice in the city outside Dallas.

The town, with a population of 28,600 people, becomes the third municipality in northern Texas to pass such a law.

Drivers in Farmers Branch are now forbidden from using handheld electronic devices to send, receive or write email or text messages while behind the wheel. Social media and posting of pictures and notes is also off-limits under the new ordinance.

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