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Runner-Up Essay from Thomas Law Office’s Spring 2017 Scholarship

Published on Mar 8, 2017 at 1:07 pm in Distracted Driving Accident.

Learning to drive is something everyone looks forward to doing. I vividly remember the joy and excitement I felt after passing my driver’s test. Driving safely is a task that requires a great deal of an individual’s attention. Many drivers do not apply the same precautions in their daily driving habits as they did on their driving test day.

Traffic laws should be emphasized for those that are distracted by technology while driving. Technology’s rapid growth is a significant reason for deviations in driving. Regardless of the driver’s race, age, or gender, operating the newest gadget can be tempting especially during a long commute; therefore the public must be educated on safety precautions. Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways.

The Winning Essay from Thomas Law Office’s Spring 2017 Scholarship

Published on Jan 19, 2017 at 1:30 pm in Distracted Driving Accident.

There is no need to text and drive just as there is no reason or excuse to drink and drive, and if statistics show that texting and driving is actually more dangerous than drinking and driving, why is it generally socially acceptable to text and drive? For as long as I can remember, I have known that drinking and driving is not acceptable. We learned about it in health class and in high school my mom told me to call her for a judgement-free, no-questions-asked ride if I became intoxicated at a party. I grew up in a world that shuns those that drink and drive yet texting and driving is relatively new and is perceived to be safer than drunk driving.

It may seem extremely harsh to punish those that text and drive the way drunk drivers are punished, but statistics prove the two are very similar in regards to causing accidents. According to statistics between the years 2005 and 2012, “the number of drunk driving fatalities per person decreased 28%. In the same time period, the percentage of people observed ‘visibly manipulating’ their phones while driving increased a staggering 650%. The number of fatalities caused by distracted driving increased 28% between 2005 and 2008 alone.” This decrease can most likely be accredited to the long term efforts to stop drinking and driving.

How to Minimize the Risks of Being Hit by a Drunk Driver

Published on Jan 10, 2017 at 4:48 pm in Distracted Driving Accident.

It’s no secret that drunk drivers cause a large percentage of America’s car accidents. According to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-related driving accidents in 2014. This accounts for nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths for that year. Over 1.1 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics in 2014. Those numbers don’t even account for drivers who weren’t caught or those who caused accidents where no one was killed.

It’s easy for someone leaving a party or bar to think they’re fine to drive, but the above statistics prove otherwise. Driving while impaired can have a devastating outcome—and not just to the driver. Everyone who shares the road with that driver is at risk for being in a terrible accident.

Hands-Free Car Devices Can Increase Distraction

Published on Oct 21, 2014 at 8:06 am in Distracted Driving Accident.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is warning drivers to be wary of the new hands-free technologies that work from voice commands. Manufacturers have been marketing “hands-free systems” as desirable safety features – with the idea being they allow drivers to keep their hands on the wheel. And a survey found three out of four drivers believe that the voiced-based technology is safe. But research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that the devices may increase distraction.

In a press release about the problem, AAA writes:

“We already know that drivers can miss stop signs, pedestrians and other cars while using voice technologies because their minds are not fully focused on the road ahead,” said Bob Darbelnet, chief executive officer of AAA. “We now understand that current shortcomings in these products, intended as safety features, may unintentionally cause greater levels of cognitive distraction.”

Distracted Driving Laws are Mostly Working

Published on Sep 3, 2014 at 8:59 am in Distracted Driving Accident.

A new study in the Journal of Public Health shows that state laws banning texting have been successful at reducing deaths. The most effective are primary bans – which allow police officers to cite a person on texting alone.

Need for the Laws

This is good news, considering the amount of drivers who drive distracted seems to be holding strong. USA Today reports that, at any time, 660,000 U.S. drivers use handheld devices while driving during daylight, according to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey – and this number has remained relatively stable for the last several years.

Some other disturbing statistics:

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that distracted drivers killed over 3,000 people in 2012, and over 400,000 were injured;