Battling distracted driving has been a top priority for U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for the past three years.
After seeing the dramatic increase of work-zone accidents due to cell phone usage, LaHood is pushing towards a ban of talking and texting while driving, according to official reports by The Washington Post.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) conducted a survey among 409 Northern Virginia police officers who said cellphone use caused one in every three accidents in construction zones. The survey also said that texting was twice as likely to cause an accident than any other driver error.
In addition, nearly 80 percent of respondents said banning cell phone use while driving would drastically reduce car accidents.
According to the AAA, about 210,000 people drive along the Capital Beltway in Virginia each day. Of these people, about half are distracted by cell phones.
In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said 5,474 people died as a result of distracted driving and 448,000 were injured in similar circumstances.
The New England Journal of Medicine found that a person using a cell phone while driving is four times more likely to be involved in an accident requiring hospital assistance.
Because work zones often have unusual lane changes, lane closures, uneven pavement and narrower lanes, distracted driving is even more risky in those areas.
Although public awareness of the danger of cell phone use behind the wheel has increased over the past several years, studies show that it hasn’t reduced usage.
If you have been involved in a distracted driving car accident and believe you were the victim of a distracted driver, please contact Parrish Law Firm, PLLC for more information. Call 703-906-4229 for a free initial consultation.