With the increase in the number of Americans owning a cell phone, it is not surprising that the number of accidents related to distracted driving has also increased. Distracted driving numbers have climbed at a startling rate, causing lawmakers in many states to pass legislation banning cell phone use while behind the wheel. However, recent studies suggest that these laws may not actually decrease the number of accidents, even in Oregon.
There is no argument that distracted driving is dangerous. Drivers who are using cell phones are said to display some of the same behaviors as drunk drivers. Many Americans admit to using a phone, checking email or texting while driving, despite laws and distracted driving bans. Studies on these laws and bans have shown that distracted driving is not decreasing.
In conjunction with RAND Corporation, one university researched new laws in one particular state to determine if they have helped reduce the number of distracted driving accidents. In the six months before and after the anti-cell phone laws were passed, there was no change in the number of accidents. Distracted driving is entirely preventable, and lawmakers continue to search for a way to make the roads safer.
Oregon drivers who have suffered because of negligent driving of any kind, including distracted driving, could be eligible for financial compensation. Victims may sometimes not reach out for help because they feel that there is not enough proof or that their case is beyond hope. It is always worthwhile to explore legal options, and victims may find that they have more options than originally anticipated.
Source: IEEE Spectrum, “Conflicting Studies Suggest Cellphone Ban for Drivers May Not Work“, Jeremy Hsu, Aug. 12, 2014