Ray LaHood, the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), recently revealed a blueprint for increased federal efforts and pressure on states to crack down on distracted driving. LaHood noted that the dangerous problem of distracted driving is especially acute among teen and young adult drivers, and stated that it is imperative to teach teens that driving and texting do not mix.
The Secretary also stated that one in every 10 highway fatalities is caused by distracted driving, showing how dangerous this nationwide epidemic is and the importance of federal distracted driving prevention measures.
In an effort to prevent distracted driving, the DOT has awarded $2.4 million to California and Delaware for pilot projects that will combine increased police enforcement with publicity campaigns against distracted driving. LaHood, who has made distracted driving a high-profile crusade, stated similar pilot projects in Syracuse, NY and Hartford, CT have successfully reduced distracted driving.
The DOT Secretary has also called on automakers to support voluntary government guidelines to ensure dashboard technologies, which are increasingly being added to vehicles, don’t distract drivers. However, he opted to not make these guidelines mandatory. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has publicly called for a complete ban on cell phone use by drivers, including hands-free devices, which may be something the government may consider in the future as a means to combat the problem of distracted driving.
Currently, thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) prohibit texting while driving, and ten states (including D.C.) ban all handheld cell phone use behind the wheel. The DOT Secretary realizes that there is “much more work to do,” but these proposed safety measures may be an excellent way to prevent distracted driving across the country.
Distracted driving is a contributing factor in auto accidents in Michigan and across the nation, and drivers who choose to not focus solely on the road may cause a dangerous collision. The Southfield distracted driving accident attorneys at Lipton Law understand how devastating an auto accident can be and the challenges you may face afterward. Our legal team can help you obtain the compensation you need to recover and will help you through every step of your case. Call (248) 557-1688 for a no-cost consultation.