If you're driving through California or Delaware, maybe you've noticed some new highway signs warning motorists about the dangers of texting and driving. So called "distracted driving" is a huge problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in 2011, nearly 6,000 people lost their lives to distracted driving. This not only included distraction by digital means such as cell phone usage, but eating while driving, music, and various other forms of distracted driving.
To prevent an increase in deadly accidents due to the population's growing reliance upon mobile technology, the U.S. Department of Transportation has come up with pilot plans in various states to combine education with enforcement. California and Delaware received $2.4 million in federal funds to roll out new campaigns aimed at deterring distracted driving via cellular phones.
How the U.S. Department of Transportation Aims to Protect Drivers
The U.S. Department of Transportation enjoyed wide success with programs such as Click it or Ticket, their campaign aimed at encouraging motorists to wear their seatbelts while driving. Combining both education and enforcement, this program increased motorists' use of seatbelts across the country. The U.S. Department of Transportation would like to replicate this success with campaigns to discourage cell phone usage while driving.
As a pilot program, California and Delaware drivers have begun to see increased police enforcement of cellular use laws in states. Additional education components such as the digital signs on the freeways and public service announcements have supported these efforts. While police cannot be everywhere at once, it's hoped that the combination education and enforcement will highlight the need for putting down the cell phone while driving to discourage potentially fatal car crashes.
Currently, 39 states have laws on the books banning cellular telephone use behind the wheel. Do you think these laws are effective when thousands of accidents result from this banned behavior?
Do Your Part
If you have been injured in an accident where the other motorist was calling or texting while driving, you could be seriously injured or killed. These behaviors are risky to all motorists and pedestrians. It is important to support good driving behaviors and to put down the cellular phone or mobile device while driving. Teach your children the dangers of using mobile devices behind the wheel. And encourage a dialogue with your children to encourage safe driving behaviors. Do your part to encourage safe driving. Put down the phone before someone gets killed because it may be you.
And if you suffer a traumatic accident at the hands of someone using a mobile device behind the wheel, consult a skilled personal injury attorney to help you obtain compensation for your injuries.