Distracted driving is becoming a widespread phenomenon across the country. According to a recent news article, distracted driving is the cause of more than 3,000 fatalities in the United States each year. The problem has gained national attention as many states have taken notice of these troubling statistics and enacted safer driving laws. For people in Cape Cod, the pertinent state law went into effect in 2010 and bans drivers from sending, typing, or reading electronic messages using handheld devices while operating a motor vehicle.
It was hoped that these new laws would reduce the number of car accidents caused by distracted drivers. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. You are encouraged to contact a local attorney with experience handling car accident claims to assist you with your case.
The Cape Cod Today reported on a recent survey conducted by the Boston-based insurer, Plymouth Rock Assurance, that looked at drivers’ attitudes about texting while driving. The results are surprising. The company issued a questionnaire to 500 drivers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Despite the fact that the safe driving law has been in existence for almost three years, 40 percent of drivers in Massachusetts say that they still send text messages while driving. In addition, only 22 percent of those surveyed say they plan to completely abide by the law, and a bold 26 percent say they will totally ignore the law.
According to the survey, the primary culprits appear to be people between the ages of 17 and 44 – they were twice as likely to text and drive — and overall, female drivers were also more likely to have texted while driving. On a somewhat promising note, 96 percent of those surveyed say they would not text and drive with young children in the car.
In a coincidental turn of events, on the very day that these survey results were published, the Massachusetts State Police announced that they received $275,000 in grant money to help put an end to texting and driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is funding the effort aimed at enforcing the Massachusetts Safe Driving Law. The safety program is called “Text With One Hand, Ticket In The Other,” and entails monitoring highways and looking for distracted drivers by implementing what the police call, “high visibility enforcement.” Over the next few months, the Massachusetts law enforcement will set up sting operations along state highways in 12 communities.
Aside from texting, other forms of distracted driving include the use of a GPS device while driving, as well as checking Facebook and Twitter accounts and other social media outlets. Taking one’s eyes off of the road while driving can lead to devastating consequences. In addition to the devastating fatalities caused by distracted driving accidents, many people also suffer from serious injuries, such as broken bones, head trauma and other life-threatening matters. Victims of these accidents are entitled to seek financial compensation for their suffering and losses. The ideal course of action is to contact an injury attorney with a great deal of experience handling such cases, as soon as possible after the accident.