The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Commission reports that 71% of teens and young adults have admitted to composing and sending text messages while driving and 78% admit to reading text messages while driving. In 2012 more than 3,000 Americans were killed and over 400,000 were injured in distracted driving accidents.
Distracted Driving Lawyer
The “Safe Driving Law” became effective in Massachusetts on September 30, 2010 in an effort to reduce distracted driving. There are particular stipulations for “junior operators,” who are drivers under the age of 18. The consequences for an underage driver being caught using any form of mobile electronic device meant for two-way communication (i.e. texting on a cellular phone or using a pager or PDA), or any device that can visually distract the driver (i.e. a video on a tablet or in-vehicle entertainment system) are severe, resulting in large fines and license suspension. These fines and suspensions become harsher following each violation. The Safe Driving Law does not only apply to teenage drivers. The consequences are less severe for drivers over 18, but still include hefty fines and potential license suspension.
The “It Can Wait” Campaign
In an effort to educate teens and young adults, AT&T launched the “It Can Wait” campaign. This campaign encourages young drivers to use the social media hashtags “#X” and “#ItCanWait” on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to alert their online friends that they are driving and not to send them any messages until they are safely at their destination. Encourage young drivers in your circle of friends or family to try online distracted driving simulators and pledge that they will not text and drive. You may also want to take time to show them national public service announcements that show how dangerous texting and driving can really be.
Will these ideas work? Spread the word and perhaps they can.
Massachusetts State Police Crack Down on Distracted Driving
In June 2014, the Massachusetts State Police launched an effort to expand awareness of the risks and consequences of distracted driving. There were numerous State Police officers in unmarked vehicles who promised to show “zero tolerance” to those drivers violating the Massachusetts statute. The goal was to remind drivers in Massachusetts that the repercussions for being caught texting while driving or other methods of distraction (such as using headphones while driving or using in-vehicle entertainment systems) are not to be taken lightly.
This endeavor was part of an ongoing two-year, four-part initiative in cooperation with the United States National Highway Traffic and Safety Commission. Will it work? Spread the word and perhaps it can.
Retain an Experienced Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one is unfortunately in an accident involving a distracted driver, call an experienced motor vehicle attorney. Neil Burns has been representing families of victims of car accidents since 1985. There is always a free initial consultation and there is no fee until we win.
Drive safely and teach others to do so too.