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NHTSA Study Looks Into How Drivers Use Their Cell Phones

Our Illinois accident attorneys saw an article that Time online posted focusing on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study that we briefly covered a few days ago. The article states that driving and texting simultaneously has increased close to 50% over the past year and 20% of all drivers say that they have used text messaging or emailing while driving. However, the use of headsets has increased along with the amount of people who are using hand-held devices.

The survey continued on to show that the majority of drivers on the road will not hesitate to answer a phone call while operating a car, and will not pull over, but continue driving once already on the phone. Even though many states have worked to ban texting while driving statewide, despite those efforts there was still an increase in texting while behind the wheel.

The Governors Highway Safety Association acknowledges that simple educational efforts are not going to change drivers’ behaviors. What the GHSA does believe will be helpful is stronger enforcement of the texting while driving laws. A spokesperson for the GHSA believes that drivers need to be in fear of receiving a ticket for texting while driving, and until then, they will continue to partake in those behaviors.

Our Chicago car accident lawyers also saw that Wired.com responded to the NHTSA study by saying that enforcing the laws that are already in place against texting while driving is the best place that states can start. Pairing reinforcement of these laws with the aggressive educational campaign would help to instill in drivers’ minds that texting while driving is an unacceptable behavior.

The Washington Post also covered the NHTSA study, noting how distracted driving is one of the biggest contributors to highway crash fatalities, with close to 3,100 deaths last year alone. It is up to state legislatures and police forces to enforce the current laws, and decide if total cellphone use in automobiles should be illegal as well. New technologies, such as a Smartphone application that disables mobile devices automatically in moving vehicles, are available but not taken advantage or easily enabled. Hands free equipment does free up the drivers’ hands, but the article also states that it does not make the driver less distracted than they are if they are holding the phone.

Our Illinois car accident attorneys encourage our readers to stop using cell phones while driving to avoid all distractions possible. Distracted driving takes a driver’s eyes, minds, and hands off of the road, which can prove to be dangerous and even fatal for not only themselves, but also other people that they share the road with. We hope that all states will start enforcing texting while driving laws more vigorously to reduce texting related motor vehicle fatalities.