News Article
11.19.2018
The Dangers of Texting and Driving
Texting and smartphone usage while driving has become an epidemic in the United States. The deadly practice has become so commonplace in the world of instant communication that, according to TeenSafe, "69 percent of U.S. drivers between the ages of 18 and 64 admitted to using their cell phone while driving during the previous month." While not every instance of this resulted in some sort of crash, there is an overwhelmingly large number of accidents attributed to cell phone use while driving. The United States Department of Transportation estimated that about 1.6 million accidents are caused by cell phone use, resulting in around 6,000 deaths.
Almost everyone has been warned not to text and drive at this point and the consequences can be seen in news stories and frightening videos all over the internet. Despite all this, it seems like many aren’t taking these warnings seriously. Instead of trying to scare everyone into putting their phone down, state and community governments have taken matters into their own hands over the past decade and began making laws against texting and other forms of distracted driving.
While there are no federal laws or statewide Arizona laws against texting while driving or distracted driving for average drivers, several cities and communities have laws against such practices. In both Tucson and Phoenix, drivers who are caught texting or using their phone while driving will receive a citation and be forced to pay a fee. These consequences can increase dramatically if there was any sort of crash-involved or other laws broken in the process, such as speeding or reckless driving.
When it comes to fines, the first offense will mandate a $50 charge, escalating to $100 for the second and $200 for the third. If an accident results from distracted driving, no matter the severity, the driver at fault will be charged significantly more.
If the driver charged with distracted driving is a novice or commercial driver, they can face harsher punishments as there is a law against distracted driving for these types of vehicle operators. A novice or commercial driver could lose their license temporarily and possibly be required to attend traffic school, along with paying a hefty fine. It all depends on the severity of the situation and any accidents or other consequences caused by distracted driving.
Texting while driving is a serious matter and kills hundreds each year, but luckily the numbers have been decreasing. According to DMV.com, the number of fatalities and injuries caused by drivers using cell phones is on a downward trend from 2005 to 2015, and it can continue to decrease if drivers take more precautions against such dangers.
Put away your cell phone when you get into the driver's seat. If you absolutely need to send a message before getting to your destination, pull over to the side of the road or into a parking lot and send it from there. Make sure any navigation you need is programmed and running before you begin driving. There are even smartphone apps or the simple Do Not Disturb setting for drivers to use that will block any incoming calls or messages. When drivers follow these suggestions and know the dangers of texting and driving, everyone can be safer on the road.
If you or a loved one have been in an accident that involved distracted driving, call Grabb & Durando at (520) 333-3333. Their experts can help you move past such a traumatic event and get the compensation you deserve.