The average text takes about five seconds to create and send. If traveling at 55 miles per hour in a vehicle, that means your eyes have been off the road long enough to travel the length of a football field. Of course, since your eyes are not on the road, that is like driving through the field blindfolded. If you imagine an obstacle course on that field, it is not difficult to see why texting and driving is so problematic. Yet many people do it. Tennessee is cracking down and taking a heavy-handed approach.
Just How Big is the Problem?
In 2014, more than 3, 000 people were killed in an automobile accident involving a distracted driver. Another 431, 000 were injured. Of course, the problem is much bigger. After all, not every incident of distracted driving leads to an accident. To determine just how big this problem is, one must look at self-reporting, which is fairly unreliable. In fact, while only one-third of drivers admit to texting themselves, at least two-thirds say they have seen others doing it. This is not surprising.
A study from EverQuote found that 96 percent of all drivers consider themselves safe drivers. Yet, as many as six percent were found to use their cell phone on every drive, 10 percent used their phones on most drivers, and 45 percent used their phones on at least some drives. Despite this disconnect in their own behavior though, they tend to see the flaws in others. In fact, the study revealed that 97 percent of all drivers either felt neutral, disagreed, or strongly disagreed when asked if they thought other drivers were safe behind the wheel.
How Tennessee is Trying to Remedy the Issue
If Americans are simply using their phone out of habit, and quite honestly not really connecting their own cell phone use behind the wheel with risk, then someone has to help them make the connection. Tennessee law enforcement is doing this with a heavy-handed approach. They have a semi-truck, equipped with cameras, that regularly patrols city streets and highways to catch distracted drivers in the act. When they are caught texting or using their phones, they are pulled over and often ticketed since any cell phone use that takes their full attention away from the road is considered illegal in the state.
Wisconsin’s laws are slightly different. Distracted driving in any form is dangerous, but it is only texting and use of a cell phone in construction areas that is illegal for all drivers. However, those on probationary licenses and permits are prohibited from any cell phone use behind the wheel, except when making an emergency call. Still, one has to wonder if taking a stronger approach to cell phone use behind the wheel could help curb the number of accidents seen in Wisconsin. Maybe Tennessee’s results will serve as anecdotal evidence to be used in other states.
Our Appleton Auto Accident Lawyers Fight for Distracted Driver Victims
Because distracted driving is so prevalent in Wisconsin, it is important that victims know their rights. At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., we serve as an advocate and trusted ally. We aggressively pursue the most compensation possible for every situation and always provide personalized and professional services. If you or someone you love has been injured in a distracted driver accident, schedule a consultation with our Appleton auto accident lawyers and get the legal assistance you need. Call 920-739-7366 today.