As technology continues to advance, the number of distracted driving car accidents in Boston and elsewhere continue to increase.
To help combat the problem, the National Safety Council (NSC) recently released a series of videos to illustrate the dangers that drivers face while driving distracted. The video series, called “Understanding Distracted Driving,” discusses the risks, dangers and consequences of distracted-driving habits. NSC Senior Director of Transportation Initiatives David Teater, uses the video to discuss the answers to 12 common questions that motorists have about this behavior.
The video also suggests that companies address cell phone usage while driving on the job. Employers are offered with advice on how to enact and enforce a no cell phone policy in their work place.
Our Massachusetts car accident attorneys see too many car accidents on our roadways that are caused by distracted drivers. According to distraction.gov, more than 5,400 people are killed every year because of these types of accidents. Nearly 1,000 of these accidents specifically report the use of a cell phone as the type of distraction that caused the crash. Distracted driving accidents are preventable with a little driver effort.
About 20 percent of all traffic accidents that occurred in 2009 were the result of distracted driving. Drivers who use a hand-held device while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle are four times as likely to be involved in an accident that’s serious enough to cause injury. Recent studies conclude that using a cell phone while driving slows a driver’s ability to react as much as a driver who is legally drunk, with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08.
To help curb driver distraction, Teater has spoken to a number of local, state and federal officials to encourage stricter enforcement against distracted drivers. Teater’s 12-year-old son lost his life in a 2004 car accident in which the driver at fault was using a cell phone at the time of the collision.
“Cell phone use and driving are a dangerous, and oftentimes deadly, combination,” said Teater. “The resources NSC has developed explain why this behavior is so dangerous and provide solutions on how to go about changing behaviors to make our roadways safer.”
Back in 2009, the NSC made an attempt to sway government officials to enact a complete ban on cell phone use at the wheel. The Council was the first organization to suggest the ban.
Massachusetts cell phone laws:
-Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving.
-Drivers of school buses and passenger buses are prohibited from using a cell phone at the wheel.
-All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving.
According to handsfreeinfo.com, drivers face a $100 fine if busted text messaging behind the wheel. The second offense gets you a $250 fine and a $500 for a third.