A study conducted in Massapequa, New York reported that one in every 10 drivers used cellphones while operating their motor vehicles. This result was consistent with that reported from other communities where percentages of cellphone use while driving ranged from 9.7 to 13 percent.
This is more than just a minor concern. Nationwide it is believed there have been more car accident fatalities due to distractions from cellphones than have been deaths due to drunk driving.
Even hands-free devices have not ensured greater safety for drivers. One AAA study concluded that hands-free devices bring along with it tunnel vision, the failure to use the side or rearview mirrors and what is called inattentive blindness where motorists are oblivious to “hazards right in front of them.”
Inattentive driving is a leading factor in fatal motor vehicle accidents. Cellphone use and in particular texting while driving leads to inattentive or distracted driving.
It is believed that nearly half of teenage driver’s text while operating a motor vehicle. Yet texting requires using of both hands to send message, and it also requires drivers to look away from the road when texting. Even a single moment of taking one’s eyes off of the road can lead to a fatal car crash.
Laws concerning the use of handheld cellphones will likely become stricter during the coming years. But even with laws that have already been passed drivers continue to use cellphones and text while driving.
There have been many personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits brought by clients and their attorneys concerning distracted driving. While laws have not prevented many individuals from texting while driving, individuals found guilty of doing so may have to pay a heavy price in compensating victims injured due to someone else’s distracted driving.
Source: Massapequan Observer, “Drivers in Massapequa Must Get the Message,” Stephen Levine, Aug. 31, 2013
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