Determined to stop people from texting while driving, the Obama administration plans a campaign similar to past government efforts to discourage drunk driving and encourage the use of seat belts. The administration offered recommendations to address the growing safety risk of distracted drivers, especially the use of mobile devices to send messages from behind the wheel. “We can really eliminate texting while driving. That should be our goal,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, declining to provide specifics of the recommendations. Researchers, safety groups, automakers and lawmakers have gathered to discuss the perils of distracted driving.
The Transportation Department reported that nearly 6,000 people were killed and a half-million were injured last year in automobile accidents as a result driver distraction, often by mobile devices and cell phones. LaHood called distracted driving a “menace to society” and said the administration would offer a series of recommendations to encourage Congress, state governments and the public to curb the unsafe behavior. A law has been proposed that would require states to ban texting or e-mailing while operating a moving vehicle or lose 25 percent of their annual federal highway funding. “No text message is so urgent that it’s worth dying over,” Klobuchar told participants.
The government reported that 5,870 people were killed and 515,000 were injured last year in crashes where at least one form of driver distraction was reported. Driver distraction was involved in 16 percent of all fatal crashes in 2008 and was prevalent among young drivers. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have passed laws making texting while driving illegal and seven states and the District have banned driving while talking on a handheld cell phone, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
“We started driving cars about 100 years ago. We started using phones about 80 years ago. We’ve only really combined those two activities to a great degree in the last five or 10 years. We’re finding out they don’t mix,” said David Teater of Spring Lake, Mich., whose 12-year-old son, Joe, was killed in a 2004 crash when a driver using a cell phone ran a red light. Some researchers cautioned that banning all cell phone use by drivers would undermine the development of safety technologies that could allow vehicles to share traffic information with other vehicles and alert emergency responders to crashes.
It has yet to be seen what laws may develop as it relates to texting/cell phone use and driving, but it’s always important to drive safely and be aware of your surroundings to avoid auto accidents. At The Injury Law Clinic, P.A. we help victims of car accidents everyday. If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident as a driver, passenger, pedestrian, bicyclist or other motorist, call today for a free consultation (877) 215-3LAW (3529).
The State of Florida has been changing traffic laws and fees a lot lately. There has been great debate as to whether the changes are for public safety or to raise money for the cash-strapped state. According to various news agencies, another state legislator is proposing a bill to change a traffic law in the name of safety. State Senator Thad Altman has proposed that booster seats be mandatory for children up to the age of seven. The current law requires a child in a car be restrained in a booster seat up to the age of four. He and booster seat saleswoman Barbara Hill are in support of the changes.
According to the proposition of this legislator, almost 200 children between the ages of 4-7 have been killed in Florida car crashes this past decade. They add almost 1,000 more have been injured.
The Injury Law Clinic, P.A. stays up-to-date on legislative action and changes to make sure that our clients are getting the best possible representation. We ensure that our clients are aware of the law and how it affects their rights so that we can better protect their interests. If you or someone you know have been injured as a result of the negligence of someone else, call toll-free today to (877) 215-3529 to discuss your options with a personal injury lawyer at The Injury Law Clinic.
Halloween is right around the corner and that means its time for ghoulish costumes, spooky treats and all-night parties. Unfortunately, that also means it’s time for some serious Halloween related injuries.
Every year thousands of injuries are reported on October 31. Mostly, the injuries are accidents: kids burning themselves while playing with lit Jack O’ Lanterns and candles or tripping while running around the neighborhood with oversized costumes and props. But some can be more serious, like car accidents caused by drunk drivers and chocking incidents due to faulty costumes and props.
This Halloween remember to keep your family and yourself safe while celebrating by following some basic holiday safety tips:
If your going to a party where alcoholic beverages will be served, make sure you have a designated driver. One of the major causes of accidents on Halloween is auto accidents where one or both parties were drunk.
If you are staying at home and greeting neighborhood trick-or-treaters make sure your house is plainly lit and that there are no decorations or wires blocking your entry path that may cause children to fall and injure themselves.
If you are going to be walking the neighborhood with your own children, make sure to carry a flash light. Children can be hit by Halloween traffic while crossing the street due to a lack of visibility. Also, know your neighborhood. While the State of Florida Department of Corrections has strict guidelines on sexual offenders during the holiday season it’s always best to be prepared. Go on http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/homepage.do to look up your neighborhood and see where potential treats may be.
Lastly, pick costumes that are breathable, fit right and are safe for children. Sometime costumes that look non-flammable aren’t. Make sure you read tags and labels on all the costume pieces and follow age requirements which can prevent serious chocking accidents, especially when it comes to small props like guns and wands that have pieces that can break off easily.
Remember it’s not always possible to prevent injuries, but its’ always best to be prepared and have a plan.
The Injury Law Clinic wishes you a happy and safe Halloween.