Cellular Phone Use and Texting While Driving Laws in the U.S.

Posted by on Jan 5, 2017 in Motor Vehicle Accidents | 0 comments

The National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) and the National Safety Council (NSC) say that 2015 is most likely the deadliest driving year for Americans since 2008 due to the rise in motor vehicle deaths. About 38,300 people were killed on U.S. roads, while 4.4 million were seriously injured (road fatality in 2014 was 32,675).

The dramatic increase in the number of cars on the road, one of the effects of gas prices going down, is one of the key factors for the rise in road fatalities, according to the NSC. And, with more cars on the road, were also more incidences of alcohol-impaired driving, speeding, people failing to buckle up, and many more instances of distracted driving.

Distracted driving, specifically, refers to any form of activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the primary task of driving. This bad road behavior takes many forms, including, but definitely not limited to, eating and/or drinking, cell phone use and texting while driving, smoking, and adjusting the radio. Since the introduction of cell phones, however, and now, the expansion of smartphone functions and wider use of social media platforms, driving distractions have donned a new front and it makes threats to road safety appear fun and exciting. Many drivers today, especially teens and young adult drivers, not only read, send and/or reply to texts while driving, but also send emails, snap selfies, conduct video chats, shoot videos, and use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat; some even watch YouTube videos while driving, practically believing that they can drive and do anything else safely.

Despite differences of states laws on cell phone use, one thing is the same anywhere: there are no current laws, in any state, that ban all cell phone use for all drivers. Below is the cellular phone use and texting while driving laws in the U.S. (from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) (http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/cellular-phone-use-and-texting-while-driving-laws.aspx):

  • Hand-held Cell Phone Use Ban: 14 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.
  • All Cell Phone ban: No state bans all cell phone use for all drivers, but 37 states and D.C. ban all cell phone use by novice or teen drivers, and 20 states and D.C. prohibit any cell phone use for school bus drivers.
  • Text Messaging ban: 46 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers.

Despite the bans on texting and cellphone use while driving, so many drivers refuse to be dissuaded from texting and using their cell phone while behind the wheel. The state of New Jersey, in particular, where distracted driving has been the top cause of fatal crashes for five straight years (2010 – 2014), saw the need to raise fines for talking or texting on hand-held wireless communication devices to discourage and stop anyone from further violating the ban on cell phone use.

Well, let’s face it. Many driver may see the figures above as nothing more than just statistical data. However, for those who have actually been hurt in a car accident and know fully well how their injuries have altered the way they live, making a statistical impression would be a thing they would rather have erased if only time could be turned back. The Todd J. Leonard Law Firm recommends if you are driving, just drive, therefore, before you get involved in something you’ll be sorry for, for a very long time.

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Deadly Tractor-Trailer Accidents in Atlanta

Posted by on Mar 11, 2015 in Motor Vehicle Accidents | 0 comments

A recent accident involving a Ford Mustang and a tractor-trailer yielded the expected results: the driver of the Mustang died instantly while the truck driver did not even sustain minor injuries. However, in this instance the Mustang driver was entirely to blame. The driver, identified as 39-year-old Kevin Miller of Snellville, ploughed into the back of the tractor-trailer which was at full stop at a traffic light.

It is undeniable, though, that tractor-trailers pose a significant danger to other motorists because of their size, weight, and numerous no-zones. A careful truck driver will consider all this when plying the highways of Georgia, but not all truck drivers are so conscientious. A collision between a big rig and a smaller vehicle will usually lead to serious injury or death to the driver and passengers of the smaller vehicle.

Many truck drivers are expected to travel for long periods of time and, despite regulations forbidding it, often go beyond the prescribed hours-of-service. As a result, they are over-fatigued or distracted, and much more likely to make a mistake or fall asleep at the wheel. Truck companies may also have been negligent about the maintenance of the vehicles, which could result in a tire blowout or mechanical failure. Another act of negligence is putting inexperienced or unqualified drivers behind the wheel. All these can spell disaster for any motorist sharing the road with truck-trailers.

Any Atlanta truck accident attorney would know that many truck accident victims face considerable medical expenses and long-term health problems. However, they may be eligible for some compensation if the truck driver is partially or wholly responsible for the accident because of some negligent act or failure to act. Unfortunately, Kevin Miller is the rare exception, as he was entirely at fault.

If you have been seriously hurt because of the negligence of a truck driver and/or truck company, at least you do not have to face the financial consequences alone. You can consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer in Atlanta and get some relief from your financial troubles.

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The Devastation of Motor Vehicle Accidents

Posted by on Aug 1, 2014 in Motor Vehicle Accidents | 0 comments

A recent three-car accident in Tulsa, Oklahoma claimed the life of a University of Oklahoma student, critically injuring 5 others. The accident occurred when one car collided head-on with another vehicle before crashing into a third one further down the road. The fatality was a 20-year old woman in the prime of her life.

When someone is killed unexpectedly in a car accident, it is always devastating because there is no warning. The effects radiate outwards to family and friends who are forced to confront the reality of how fragile life is. When young people die through no fault of their own, it is even more devastating. Oklahoma car accident lawyers deal with this type of tragedy more often than anyone would like.

The female driver who caused the accident by drifting down the center line of the road is suspected to have been driving under the influence, but the results of the blood test will confirm if this is so. If it is found to be true, she may be facing criminal charges and perhaps civil litigation for personal injury and wrongful death. The woman was also injured in the accident, but was able to answer questions from authorities.

In Chicago, instead of a young college student, a 71-year-old pedestrian loading groceries into a car was killed when a reckless driver plowed into him. Three other people were injured before the reckless 58-year-old male driver finally stopped. He was also critically injured and taken to the hospital. Investigation into the reason behind the reckless driving behavior is ongoing.

According to the website of Abel Law Firm, the devastation of motor vehicle accidents is indisputable regardless of whether you are young or old, and yet too many people continue to recklessly disregard the lives of other people around them by driving recklessly or when they are in no condition to do so. It is beyond reason, and these reckless individuals should be held accountable for their actions when they hurt innocent people.

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