Beebe and O'Neil

What can be done to decrease distracted driving?

Distracted driving has been a major cause of car accidents in Connecticut and across the country, and it does not seem to be getting better. To help decrease the number of these crashes, individuals, law enforcement and government agencies are taking steps to increase awareness and pass laws to make the roads safer for all drivers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teenagers are involved in the majority of fatal crashes involving distracted driving. Distraction can be seen in a number of forms including:

  • Playing with the radio
  • Drinking and eating
  • Interacting with passengers
  • Fiddling with navigation system
  • Looking for something in the back seat
  • Talking or texting on the phone

Among all distractions, texting has been found to be the most alarming, as it takes the driver's eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. 

What can be done to cut down on the incidences of driving while distracted? According to AAA, there are a number of angles that can help. Parents can play an important role in laying strict ground rules because they are the child's role model from a very early age, and they are often involved with teaching kids how to drive. Parents can also enroll teenage drivers in a comprehensive driver education program that focuses on how cell phone use and other distractions contribute to accidents. 

State and federal laws can also make a big difference in improving driving safety. States can pass graduated driver licensing laws, which restrict the number and kind of passengers a teenage driver can have in the car, and it can prohibit all cell phone use while driving. Some states have already implemented laws that prohibit handheld cell phone use by all drivers, and more states are considering passing stricter laws regarding distracted driving.

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