U.S. Department of Transportation has released newest video to their series, “Faces of Distracted Driving,” on the website www.distraction.gov featuring the story of Brittanie Montgomery. Brittanie was a student at the University of Central Oklahoma, who was tragically killed after losing control of her car, crossing four lanes of traffic and being struck by an oncoming vehicle. She was distracted by talking on her cell phone at the time of the crash.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has sought to raise awareness of distracted driving through the www.distraction.gov website. It’s series “Faces of Distracted Driving” contains the stories of people, such as Brittanie, who have been killed as a result of drivers that were distracted by texting, using a cell phone or smartphone, eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading, using a navigation system, watching a video, adjusting a radio, or using a CD player or MP3 player while they were driving.
The website also provides some alarming statistics. According to the website:
· Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.
· Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind.
· Using a cell phone while driving, whether it's hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent.
· Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%.
· Drivers who use hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.
· Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use.
Many states have taken notice of the problem of distracted driving and have taken action by enacting laws. 35 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam ban text messaging for all drivers. Twelve of these laws were enacted in 2010 alone. 9 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving.
· The use of a cell phone for talking or texting by bus drivers with minors on board is prohibited regardless of whether the cell phone is handheld and hands-free.
· Drivers under the age of 18, in certain instances, may not use cell phones for talking or texting while driving, whether or not they use a hands-free device.
· Texas has also banned the use of cell phones and texting in school zones unless he/she is stopped or using a hands-free device. The jurisdiction enforcing this must post a sign giving notice of the law.
The Leon Law Firm www.theleonlawfirm.com urges you to not drive while distracted. If you or someone you know has been injured by a distracted driver,
please call The Leon Law Firm at (281) 980-4529 to set up a consultation.