It is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and all month long we are looking at the impacts of distracted driving which can have devastating impacts and lead to New Haven auto accidents. Today however, we are going to focus on something positive as it relates to distracted driving, the fact that state laws governing this type of behavior are actually working to save lives.
In a recent study conducted by a researcher at Massachusetts General, teen deaths due to distracted driving are plummeting across the country, specifically in state’s that have laws on the books to govern this type of behavior. In all 46 out of 50 states have laws that have had some impact on the death rate among teens in distracted driving incidents. There are two types of laws that govern this type of behavior.
- Primary Distracted Driving Laws: This type of law allows a police officer to pull someone over for the sole reason that they are using their cellphone while driving. No other reason for the traffic stop must be given.
- Secondary Distracted Driving Laws: This type of law only allows an officer to pull a driver over for something OTHER than distracted driving, but the driver can be cited for distracted driving if the behavior is observed.
With these laws on the books teen driving deaths due to distracted driving have plummeted since 2007 and the drop off coincided very closely with the implementation of these state laws. Overall there was a 29% drop in teen deaths due to distracted driving behaviors in states that had enacted primary distracted driving laws. In states with secondary distracted driving laws, teen deaths dropped 20% over the same time period.
There are also other laws on the books that are limiting cellphone use while driving. In all, 36 states have banned cellphone use by new drivers and an additional 12 states have banned cellphone use for drivers of all ages.
In the state of Connecticut all drivers are banned from talking or texting on cellphones while driving.
There is ample evidence that distracted driving leads to dangerous behavior behind the wheel and has shown that there is a greater likelihood of a New Haven auto accident if this type of behavior is happening.
Here at the Loricco Law Firm we know that it can wait and encourage you to stow your cellphone while you are driving so you are not tempted to check it. If you do get into an accident and are injured, our office can review your case and protect your long-term interests.