Cell Phone Use Responsible for 18% of Fatal Accidents

A recent study on distracted driving done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that about 18 percent, or 995 persons, were killed in fatal cell phone car accidents. Reported fatalities due to driver distraction have increased by six percent from 2005 to 2009; whereas the portion of drivers reportedly distracted at the time of fatal crashes increased from seven percent in 2005 to 11 percent in 2009.

Distracted drivers involved in most fatal injuries usually belong to the under-20 age group and even now, distracted driving among teens continues to increase. This is why, despite the decline of fatal Arizona car accidents as results of alcohol-impaired driving, motor-vehicle crashes are still the number one killer of teen drivers and passengers under-20 years old.

Rubbernecking is the currently the most common cause of distraction-related accidents, accounting for 20 to 50 percent of all police-reported crashes. Cell phone use may range from 1.5 to 5 percent of contributing factors currently, but ranks 8th on the list of most reported causes of distraction-related accidents.

A survey conducted by Nationwide.com, which focused on the use of cell phones while driving, revealed that there is strong public support for legislation to restrict cell phone usage while driving. In fact, due to the increasing number of fatal driving accidents resulting from cell phone use, many countries including the United States have banned or restricted hand-held and/or hands-free devices while driving. Most bans are only applicable to young drivers—usually those under 18—and can be found in about 30 states. However, adult drivers of non-commercial vehicles are not included in the bans.

Being advocates of road safety, we, The Husband and Wife Law Team, are proud to be the Southwest Regional sponsor for the 2010-2011 American Lawyer Academy’s Viral Video Scholarship Contest. The contest is awarding $25,000 in scholarships to students nationwide.

Students were instructed to create a web video in a public service announcement style promoting safe driving habits. We received many notable entries from local students throughout the region! Public voting has now begun for the first round of finalists and will end on April 22nd, 2011. The top 3 performing videos at that time will be selected and opened up again for voting until May 7th, when all voting for all regions ends. Regional winners will be announced on May 15th, 2011. Cast your vote today for your favorite video! Good luck to all participants!

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