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Distracted Driving

Distraction:

dəˈstrakSH(ə)n/

noun

a thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.

When driving there are many different things than can contribute to unnecessary distractions from texting to taking selfies to eating to even simply just changing the radio station. Unnecessary distractions are everywhere and are almost always preventable. While we live in the era of technology where we can summon strangers to pick up to even watching countless hours of cat videos we can just as easily fall victim to its pull rather than using it for greater good. With all those different distractions lingering around each corner it would be close to impossible to say that as a driver we are each focused 100% of the time on the task at hand. Whether the case may be there is always something more we can do to try to minimize the risk when it comes to these unwelcome distractions.

While in AZ the law only prohibits cell phone use while driving to School Bus Drivers many states are petitioning for the change or have already welcomed it. Massachusetts has gone a tid bit further and has banned all handheld use of a mobile phone to all novice (18 and under) drivers and has a specific ban for texting while driving for drivers of all ages. Neighboring states such as Nevada have gone as far to ban all hand held cell phone usage while operating a motor vehicle. This applies to all residents and non-residents of the Sin City State. That ticket will cost you anywhere from a mere sixty dollars to a few hundred depending on the speed at the time you were caught taking that selfie or navigating to Las Vegas Boulevard. New Jersey has also adapted Nevada’s no tolerance policy towards the distraction that cell phones provide to drivers of all ages.

Even large cell phone companies have even jumped on board. AT&T even launched a campaign called “It Can Wait” where you can log online and “take the pledge” along with other day to day drivers and even celebrities. The site offers glaring statistics commissioned by AT&T and Braun. They polled 2,067 people in the united states from varying ages (16-65) who use their smartphone and drive at least once a day and found out that 95% of drivers disprove of distracted drive (through use of a mobile phone), yet 71% actually engage in cell phone use. To boost popularity they started the #X campaign which encouraged drivers to text “#X” to whomever they were conversing with before they got in their vehicle to “pause” the conversation. With many celebrity endorsements the campaign spread like wildfire but was short lived.

Apple took it upon themselves to go a step further to incorporate a “Do not disturb while driving” feature in iOS11. While the phone is in “Do not disturb while driving” mode the phone will essentially will be off, without being off. Think a different level of airplane mode. You can still accept text and calls but your screen will be off even when receiving the notifications. Although the setting is targeted towards minimizing distractions while driving there are some ways around it so that if it is an emergency someone can in fact get in contact with you. You can customize the settings to allow calls from your favorite contacts come through or just simply inform those contacts to send a text with the body “urgent” and it will allow the text to come through as if it were not in that “Do not disturb while driving” mode. For passengers they can simply disable the mode or select “passenger” and its business as usual.

Speaking of which, passengers are another preventable distraction in which many states have laws against transporting passengers until a specific age. The first thing many of us thought of when we got our licenses was cruising with our friends with the windows down and the music up, but as great as it sounds it can be a real problem. California has made it illegal for any new (receiving your license within the last 12 months) driver from transporting any passenger under the age of 20, unless you are accompanied by another California licensed parent or guardian, or a California licensed driver of at least 25 years of age. Here in Arizona a teenager with an Arizona graduated driver’s license is not permitted to operate a motor vehicle with more than one passenger unless it is the driver’s sibling(s) or a licensed (any state) parent or guardian who must present and coherent in the front seat. In addition to that If the teen driver has no outstanding extensions of the restricted driving period or suspension of driving privileges during the completion of the first six months of restricted driving, the teen may drive without restriction until eligible to apply for a Class D driver license beginning at age 18.

Between communication and tech companies to Lawmakers, there has continuously been someone working on coming up with new ideas to make our roads safer. From requiring some sort of driver’s education prior to an individual obtaining a driver’s license to laws attempting to minimize varying degrees of preventable distractions there seems to always be something more we can do.

But with all these law changes, and advancements in technology has there really been an impact when it comes to accidents? Fortunately there has been a decline, unfortunately it’s not as drastic as many states hoped but all in all it is a progression towards a safer road for all. With one in 5 accidents attributed to distracted drivers states all over are hoping that these laws will continue to help save lives.

We here at RC Autoglass want to make sure you’re as safe as can be while you’re out on the road whether it be on your way to work or on your way home from soccer practice. Call us for a free quote. If we can be of assistance please let us know.