Drivers in California have lived with strict cell phone laws for awhile now. The purpose of banning handheld devices while driving was to cut down on the number of accidents on the road, but distracted driving is still a major cause of crashes throughout the country. As a result, more governmental departments and organizations are doing their part to decrease this type of driving.
According to the National Safety Council, there are many types of distractions but that cell phone use is the most dangerous. Compared to reading while driving, which has an increased risk of 3.4 times, texting can be 23 times as risky. Talking on the phone slows reaction time and makes it harder to see signs and traffic signals. Even using hands-free devices can contribute to accidents because it still takes the driver’s attention away from the road.
The big question is, what can be done about distracted driving? The CDC outlines a number of strategies that have been or are being put in place to help fight this issue. Raising awareness through campaigns, social media, news stories and advertisements has been shown to be effective in decreased cell phone use. A variety of laws at both the federal and state levels have also been implemented. These include texting bans, hand-held phone bans and graduated licensing programs for teenagers. These programs help ease teen drivers into the driving experience, restricting who can be in the car and limiting the hours of driving. It also includes information about the dangers of distracted driving and phone bans specific to teenagers.