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Distracted driving still causes thousands of car accidents each year

Most Connecticut residents have some sort of mobile device that enables them to stay connected with their family, friends, and colleagues. While these devices can be tremendously useful, they can cause car accidents when people use them while they’re operating a motor vehicle. For this reason, some lawmakers are looking for more innovative ways to discourage distracted driving.

Although it’s illegal for Connecticut drivers to use mobile devices while they’re behind the wheel, many drivers ignore this law, putting themselves and others at risk. For first-time offenders, the fine for texting and driving is as high as $150, and repeat offenders pay $500. When distracted driving causes a fatal accident, the driver can even receive a prison sentence.

Despite attempts to curb distracted driving, it is still a problem for drivers nationwide. Mobile phone usage is responsible for about 11 percent of the 33,000 traffic fatalities nationwide. It is unknown whether Connecticut’s laws have had any impact on the number of car accidents related to mobile phone usage.

One high-profile U.S. senator has argued that states should require drivers to use mobile apps that prevent drivers from using their phones while driving. Such apps often allow for emergency calls but block other incoming calls and text messages. It is unknown whether the driver would have to turn on the app before he starts the vehicle, or if the app would automatically start when it detects that the driver is behind the wheel.

Victims of car accidents and their family members may want to consider a personal injury lawsuit. They may be entitled to compensation to cover their medical expenses or the pain and suffering of losing a loved one. People in this situation may want to contact an attorney as soon as possible.

 

Source: CT Post, “Summit seeks to curb distracted driving,” Stewart M. Powell, Feb. 4, 2014

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