Texting and Car Accidents

This article was first published December 20th, 2011. Some of the laws may have changed since this that date.

Operating a car is dangerous enough without worrying about getting hit by someone more focused on texting. As technology advances, drivers are overwhelmed with distractions offered by an iPhone or Android device. Since the first wave of car phones, over 3,000 accidents involving mobile phone distractions have occurred. On December 13th, 2011, the NTSB issued a federal recommendation banning ‘non-emergency’ use of mobile devices while driving. The NTSB is urging its affiliates to inform motorists of new legislation with public education. 39 states ban drivers from using cell phones. 30 states place sanctions on ‘non-experienced’ drivers. No state prohibiting cell phones limits drivers from using Bluetooth or GPS.
Deborah Hersman, a spokesperson for the NTSB commented, “We’re not here to win a popularity contest. No e-mail, no text, no call, no update is worth your life”. During an NTSB investigation, a coast to coast controversy drummed up after a novice driver flipped her car in Largo, Maryland, killing five. In 2008, a driver in Chatsworth, California ran a light in his company truck and collided with a commuter train. 25 people were killed. The driver’s company confirmed their employee had a history of making personal correspondences while working.The NTSB reports that 77% of the world’s population is mobile. In 2010, NTSB’s ‘federal researchers’ probed Gray Summit, Missouri after events transpired on August 5th, 2010. A truck driver caused an accident killing two and injuring 28. The driver made 11 text messages in 11 minutes, summarizing events of the previous night, and then rear ended a tractor trailer. The driver then became sandwiched by two school buses following close behind. The buses held 50 students on their way to Six Flags.Robert Sumwalt, of the NTSB, says, “Without enforcement, the laws don’t mean a whole lot”.Pilot projects were conducted in Syracuse, New York and Hartford, Connecticut. Research data shows a steady decline in drivers using mobile devices with increased ticketing and ‘public education’. Public experimentation was crucial in calculating a third reduction of phone use in both Syracuse and Hartford, after the first wave of ‘public advertising’ and fines.Though there is definitive evidence that supports the regulation of cell phone use while driving, you may still be afflicted by the negligence of a texting driver.  If you’re subject to an auto accident in Orlandoand need the representation of a personal injury attorney, please contact us at the Umansky Law Firm.