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Handheld Cell Phone Bans Don't Necessarily Lead to Drop in Accidents

Monday, November 03, 2014

Distracted driving accidents involving people who are using their cell phones while driving, are a major factor in bicycle accidents in California. California currently has bans on the use of hand-held cell phones while driving, and texting while driving. However, California bicycle accident lawyers have noticed that those bans haven't necessarily led to a drop in accident rates. A new study confirms this.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety analyzed car accident claims that were filed after two high-profile cell phone ban enforcement efforts by police in Connecticut and New York. They found that there was a drop in violations after these initiatives were implemented. However, there was no drop in insurance claims filed after car accidents.

That seems to indicate that there is no correlation between enforcement of bans on handheld drivers, and a lower risk of accidents. That’s because there are all sorts of distracting behaviors that motorists are engaging in, which often contribute to accidents. Those driving behaviors are not banned. On any given day on California roads, you see people snacking or drinking beverages, reading, talking to passengers, and engaging in many other types of distracting behavior at the wheel.

Each of those behaviors is serious enough to cause a bicycle accident. One of the biggest defenses that motorists have when they are involved in a bicycle accident is that they did not see the bicyclist until it was too late. Often, the reason they failed to see the bicyclist is because they were focusing on something else at the time.

Distracted driving needs to be taken more seriously, and merely having laws that ban hand-held cell phone while driving and texting while driving, wont help. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, we need to tackle the problem of distracted driving effectively, and to do that, we need a much broader and expansive approach, that includes many of the varied types of distracted driving out there.


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