Distracted Driving – The act of driving with a secondary focus, has seemingly hit its peak. States are creating laws to combat this serious issue, and studies are being conducted to add weight to the problem. Many states have put age-restrictive cell phone bans out for young drivers, but only eleven states have mandated a complete restriction of wireless cell use on all motorists. Two states, South Carolina and Montana, have no bans or restrictions on distracted driving whatsoever.
Although I am in favor of laws that prohibit the manipulation of a cell phone, these laws are very difficult to enforce. When laws are difficult to enforce, they will be less effective in regulating behavior. The other problem is that the fines for texting and driving are small, but the dangers are great. Maybe if we treated distracted driving much like we do drunk driving, we would see a reduction in collisions caused by distracted drivers who take their eyes off the road to use their cell phone key pads.
Some state’s distracted driving laws are classified as secondary law, which means that you must first break a primary law such as speeding before they can ticket you for the offense. The laws vary from state to state and many motorists are ill-informed of the laws. To make a ban on distracted driving effective, all states would need to adopt the same stance. Distraction.gov has a useful interactive map of all distracted driving laws, as well as other resources.
To learn more about distracted driving, and how to make a difference visit our page on driver safety.