Steps Taken To Prevent Distracted Driving Accidents

As any parent of teenagers knows, in many cases their cellphones have practically become an extension of their hands. As technology has improved and cellphones have become substitutes for cameras and computers, it is rare for teenagers to leave home without their phones. Unfortunately, many teenagers do not understand that their cellphone becomes a serious hazard when used while driving.

Recently, Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill into law that is expected to make Michigan's roads safer by reducing the incidents of distracted driving. The law prohibits all Michigan drivers with either a level 1 or level 2 graduated license from using handheld cellphones while behind the wheel.

The bill is targeted at teenagers who have graduated driver's licenses. Teenagers are the demographic that is most likely to be distracted at the time of an auto accident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Consequently, legislators hope the new law will ensure new drivers are paying attention to the road, rather than multi-tasking while driving.

While the law prohibits handheld cellphone use, it does not prevent novice drivers from using hands-free technology to talk on the phone. In addition, teens are still allowed to use their handheld cellphone if they must report an emergency.

The law becomes effective in March 2013, and joins one other statewide prohibition targeted at distracted driving. Since 2010, Michigan drivers have been banned from texting while behind the wheel.

Many states across the country have adopted similar legislation, as studies have shown texting is a particularly dangerous form of distracted driving. According to a Virginia Tech study, drivers who texted while on the road were 23 times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident than those who were not distracted.

Avoid distracted driving accidents in Michigan

Distracted driving accidents across the country resulted in over 3,000 fatalities in 2010. An additional approximately 416,000 people sustained personal injuries that year due to a distracted driver accident.

While the new law in Michigan hopefully will lead to fewer teenage distracted driving crashes, it is critical for all Michigan drivers to be attentive when driving. Teenagers often learn behaviors from their parents. In fact, a Pew research study reported that 40 percent of teenagers in the U.S. have been passengers in vehicles in which the driver was distracted by a cellphone. Therefore, it is important for drivers of all ages in Michigan to avoid distractions while behind the wheel.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving accident, consulting with a skilled, Michigan personal injury attorney will ensure you rights are protected and just compensation is received.