Distracted Driving May Cost Your Life

In 2009, 20 percent of all injury-causing car accidents involved distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents. A driver that is using a hand-held device is four times as likely to get into a serious-injury car accident, says the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This study shows that drivers that use a cell phone while driving (including handsfree devices) have the same level of impairment as an intoxicated driver.

The National Transportation Safety Board urged all of the United States to ban drivers from using electronic devices while driving, including text messaging. NTSB Chairwoman, Deborah Hersman, detailed the dangers, saying, “We see that when people are talking on the phone, their perception narrows. They actually see 50 percent of what they usually see when they’re not talking on the phone.” The NTSB has no power to pass or enforce laws, so Hersman is looking at nationwide campaigns that have been effective in the past, including ones that urged seat belt use and those that brought awareness to the dangers of drinking and driving.

It is time for all of us to stand up for our safety by turning off electronic devices while driving. That means no call, text, update, or message is worth a human life! Thirty-five states have now banned texting and driving. For a complete list of states that have banned texting and driving visit Governors Highway Safety Association.

Currently, there is not a ban on cellphone use for Arizona drivers except for in the city of Phoenix and for school bus drivers. The fine for texting and driving in Phoenix range from $100-$250. Laws banning handheld cellphones and banning texting have been introduced into the Arizona legislature and have not yet passed. For more information on Arizona driving laws visit ADOT.com.