April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and as part of their efforts, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is asking lawmakers in California to lead the way for the rest of the country and ban all phone use while driving. According to news reports, California currently allows drivers to take calls through Bluetooth or hands-free devices such as a dashboard mount.
But if this law were to pass, even hands-free phone conversations would become illegal. There has already been resistance to these proposals especially from Uber and Lyft drivers who say this law would make their jobs almost impossible because they frequently get calls from drivers regarding change of locations while en route to picking up passengers. If this law passes, they say, it would be impossible to serve their customers properly.
Concerns Over Phone Bans
California Highway Patrol officials say distracted driving is something they are already cracking down on in local jurisdictions. Officials say texting is the most dangerous form of distracted driving because it takes your hands off the wheel, eyes off the road and attention away from driving. The average text takes several seconds and in that time, you could traverse the entire length of the football field, while looking at your phone and without looking at the road.
However, CHP officials say a ban like this could be hard to enforce because of the difficulty in catching drivers in the act. They say it might be hard to determine whether someone is on the phone if they are using hands-free because it’s hard to hear to someone who is traveling in a closed car over freeway noise. Others are concerned that drivers may be more distracted trying to hide their phones than they would be using it hands-free.
Recognizing the Dangers
As drivers, we all have the duty to recognize the dangers of distracted driving. When you are looking at emails, texts or social media while driving, there is the danger of hitting a pedestrian, a bicyclist or T-boning another vehicle. These are all accidents that could result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities. No text, email or social media post is worth a human life and that’s something we should all remember not only in April, but throughout the year.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, you may be able to seek compensation for the injuries, damages and losses you have sustained. If you have lost a loved one, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. An experienced California car accident lawyer will be able to advise you regarding your legal rights and options.