According to the Centers for Disease Control, every day approximately 9 individuals are killed and over 1,000 people sustain injuries due to distracted driving. Distracted driving involves a range of activities, but all of these activities lead to the same result: drivers take their eyes off the road and accidents are more likely to occur. One particularly pernicious form of distracted driving is texting and driving. In 2012, deaths and injuries due to distracted driving increased by approximately 9%. One of the reasons for this increase may be due to the fact that texting while driving is on the rise. In a survey performed by researchers and cited by the CDC, 31% of drivers admitted to texting and driving within a thirty day period. This means that as many as close to one third of drivers on the road, at some point, have placed themselves in a position where they could have injured other drivers.
The problem affects the people of Minnesota as well as the rest of the nation. According to the Public Safety Department of Minnesota, as many as 25% of crashes could have been prevented had drivers avoided driving while distracted.
In order to increase road safety and enforce laws, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety plans to crack down on texting and driving starting next week. According to the Pioneer Press, various law enforcement departments will be closely monitoring roads for signs of distracted drivers. Minnesota law prohibits drivers from using the Internet while driving, or from sending and receiving texts. The law also applies to drivers who are stopped in traffic.
The period of increased enforcement will span from April 13th to April 18th. Drivers who engage in distracted driving behavior can expect a big hit to their wallets. The fine for distracted driving in some counties can be as much as $145.
Yet, is a two-week crackdown on distracted driving enough? Last year, 3,200 texting citations were issued to drivers. However, enforcement of cell phone use while driving can be difficult. It can be challenging for an officer to prove that a driver was, in fact, using a cell phone while driving if the citation is challenged in court.
While the enforcement increase seems to be slated to last only a short span of time, the crackdown surely increases public awareness of the issue and offers law enforcement and the news media the opportunity to discuss the dangers of texting and driving.
Those who choose to use their phones behind the wheel may face serious consequences if they get into accidents. Besides being at fault, drivers who text and drive may be liable to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering if another person is injured in a car accident. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a distracted driver, a personal injury lawyer in Minneapolis, Minnesota can help you seek justice and compensation for your losses. The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino offers skilled and experienced personal injury representation to the people of Minneapolis.
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