Do distracted driving laws make a difference? A recent study that focused on red-light violations in three states suggests that they can be effective. Fewer drivers disregarded red lights because they were distracted in California, which bans cell phone use, compared to Colorado, which bans texting, and Arizona, which bans neither.
The study, Stop Distraction on Red, looked at intersection violations in sample communities. Driving through a red light is the primary cause of car crashes in urban areas, and researchers were able to observe driver behavior. Of the more than 5,000 red light violations were observed, 12 percent were the result of distracted driving. Distracted behaviors included:
- Using a cell phone (39.3 percent)
- Looking away (43.2 percent)
- Other behaviors such as smoking, eating, applying makeup or reading (17.5 percent)
The rate of distracted violations in California, which has the strictest ban against hand-held electronic devices in the nation, was 9.7 percent, significantly lower than the 16.4 percent in Colorado and Arizona. The study concludes that such laws do deter some people from texting or making phone calls while driving.
Arizona remains one of three states with no distracted driving laws, although police are allowed to stop any motorist who is driving in a reckless manner. If you are injured in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be able to claim damages in a personal injury lawsuit. The auto injury lawyers at Begam and Marks can explain your best legal options for successfully getting fair compensation for medical expenses and other losses.