More States Focus on Distracted Driving, Study Says

DistractedDrivingStudy

If the first step in solving a problem is acknowledging there is one, the U.S. has made strides in addressing the deadly issue of distracted driving. According to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, a nonprofit association representing U.S. highway-safety offices, states have made significant improvements in enacting and enforcing distracted-driving laws, collecting data and educating the public.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia participated in GHSA's "2013 Distracted Driving: Survey of the States" study and results show that since the previous study in 2010, the number of states identifying distracted driving as a priority issue increased by 28 to 39, a 43% spike. Jonathan Adkins, GHSA deputy executive director, indicated that while knowing may be half the battle, the second half might be an uphill one, as 50% of adults now own smartphones, according to GHSA. "States face major obstacles including a lack of funding for enforcement, media and education," he said in a statement. "That, coupled with the motoring public's unwillingness to put down their phones, despite disapproving of and recognizing the danger of this behavior, makes for a challenging landscape."

Other findings of the 2013 study are:

  • Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia now have laws prohibiting various forms of distracted driving, with 41 now banning texting compared with 28 three years earlier.
  • Police in nearly every state are actively enforcing distracted-driving laws through routine patrols and public-awareness efforts.
  • Statewide education efforts have increased by 26%, with the vast majority using social media; the use of channels such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook has increased by 125%.
  • More states are targeting teens with educational materials, as they are both at greatest risk for crashes and the strongest adopters of new technology.
  • States are making more targeted outreach efforts, asking employers to educate their workforce.
  • Four more states now collect distracted-driving data via police crash reports than in 2010, with 47 states and the District of Columbia now doing so.
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By Matt Schmitz | July 18, 2013 | Comments (5)

Comments 

To be honest, there are too many things that distracts a driver.. phones, other traffic members.. and especially girls :)
The point is, you can't really make the driver he like a statue and forbid do other stuff..

Distracted driving has become a huge problem nationwide. People day everyday in accidents caused by distraction like cell phones, gps, radios and many other gadget. Yet the phones are the biggest problem. People talk and text all the time while driving and this is insane.

It is good that more states are focusing on this issue, but I think education in schools about it is also necessary. It is good they have started using social media channels though.
We have truckers telling us about the dangers on thew road all the time. They see young people texting and driving or talking and driving all the time on the highway.
They just don't realize how dangerous and deadly this could be.

Lance

I wish people would stop grouping talking on the phone in the same sentence as texting on a phone. One you can do on a speaker with both hands on the wheel and with complete view of the road ahead. The other takes one or both hands off the wheel and eyes off the road much longer than any other distraction one can name like radios, kids, talking to passengers, looking at gps, etc. But people continue to group talking on the phone and texting in the same category of distraction. Not even close.

Skankzilla

^^ Lance

Totally.

This is a very acute problem. I do trucking for more than 15 years and I see with my own eyes how many people phone and drive.


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