Atlanta Teens Get Crash Course in Accident Risks of Distracted Driving
The nationwide focus on distracted driving was also in place in Atlanta yesterday as teenage drivers got a crash course in the increased risk of accidents when they are distracted behind the wheel.
The distracted driving training course was organized by Allstate, and was one of 42 events organized across the country to prove the dangers of poor concentration while driving. Teenagers were encouraged to drive around the training course while experiencing several distractions in the form of fellow passengers and loud music. The teens were made to send text messages on their phones, snack while driving and indulge in other distracted behaviors. The results of the training program, as Atlanta personal injury lawyers, would have expected, were not too surprising. The teens found it hard to navigate the training course.
Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay and his 14-year-old son also participated in the event. The two signed a driving contract under which McKay’s son agreed to punishments for speeding, cell phone use while driving, failure to wear seatbelts etc.
Across the country, there has been renewed attention on the dangers of distracted driving, in particular distractions involving the use of cell phones by motorists. A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute last month showed that text messaging while driving, increased the risk of an accident by up to 23 times. Those are staggering numbers that have galvanized law makers into action. A bill has been introduced under which states would be required to pass laws banning text messaging behind the wheel, failing which they would lose up to 25 percent of their annual federal highway safety funding.. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is also convening a summit of transportation officials, law enforcement representatives and law makers next month, to consider ways in which a ban on text messaging can be effectively enforced.
A representative of the Governor Highway Safety Association puts it best when he says that the current situation with cell phone use is similar to where the country was back in the 80s, when drunk driving was a serious problem. We all know cell phone use behind the wheel is a major distraction and a serious contributor to accidents, but we are still not completely sure how to effectively deal with it. Public tolerance to drunk driving has dropped dramatically over the past couple of decades. As Atlanta car accident lawyers, we hope the public develops zero tolerance for cell phone use behind the wheel too.