Distracted Driving | Phoenix Personal Injury Law Blog - Breyer Law Offices, P.C.
Until recently, Arizona, along with Montana and Missouri, was one of three states that did not have a statewide ban on texting while driving. Many AZ cities had enacted laws banning cellphone use in some form, but only now has the ban become statewide.
Drivers who engage in texting while driving are a major factor in the increase in distracted driving accidents across the country. According to the National Safety Council:
Lawmakers recently passed a statewide ban of handheld cellphones by motorists, and now HB 2318 is up to Governor Doug Ducey to sign. Lawmakers decided against approving a different version, which would only allow police to pull over motorists for a different reason before citing them for use of a cellphone while driving. They did approve this one, which gives police the ability to stop motorists solely because they see them calling or texting while driving, or using a cellphone in any other way without a hands-free device.
Lawmakers have tried in the past to pass a statewide texting ban, and they will try again in 2019. Sen. Kate Trophy McGee introduced SB 1165, which would make it illegal to text while behind the wheel unless in hands-free mode.
Why is this bill important?
Many couples use Valentine’s Day as a way to express their love for each other and go out to celebrate. Some choose to dine at a fancy restaurant. Others do something adventurous they wouldn’t try at any other time of the year, such as rock climbing or salsa dancing.
But for some couples, the Valentine’s Day pressure is too much, and they break up. If this happens to you, please remember: emotional driving is unsafe driving. We’ll show you why.
Distracted driving has certainly increased over the past ten years. While the rate of drivers holding a phone in their hand to talk or text has dropped by half (from 6.2% in 2007 to 3.3% in 2016), other use of cell phones while driving has increased.
Many people ask us, “Is it illegal to drive when you are tired?” While the short answer is no, it is a bit more complicated than that. Fatigued drivers are often found at fault for car accidents because they fail to obey traffic rules or fail to yield to other cars.
Even under the best of circumstances, there is always an element of risk in driving. Recently, this level of risk has increased dramatically due to the use of cell phones while driving. In 2015 alone, nearly 400,000 people were injured or killed in automobile accidents that involved distracted drivers. Many of these accidents were caused by drivers simply taking their eyes off the road for a few seconds to read a text message.
Across the state and across the nation, there are thousands of automobile accidents that could be prevented if drivers simply kept their hands, and their attention, on the road. Instead, they reach for their phones and take their eyes off the road. And in that instant, their decision can end up greatly impacting the lives of others. Automobile accidents caused by distracted drivers can lead to serious injuries and death—to themselves, other drivers, bikers, or pedestrians near them.
You remember being a Phoenix teen driver, and that’s probably why you lock your own teen drivers down on the weekend. After all, drinking was the cool thing to do on the weekend when you were younger, and 20, or even 30, years ago, drinking led to deaths of many teenagers on the road, maybe even teenagers you knew or with whom you went to school. But today there’s something far more dangerous that you need to worry about when it comes to your teenagers and driving: texting.
You’ve been driving on the roads of Arizona for so long that you know every street corner like the back of your hand. You know where an Arizona car crash is most likely to happen and you know just when to swerve to miss every rut, pot hole and other hazard on the road. You know where bicyclists like to ride and where they do and don’t have access to bicycle lanes. And more than that, you’re an excellent driver all around. So why would you need to worry about the possibility of being involved in a car crash? You’re an incredible motorist and you’ve got this driving thing down pat.
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