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Study suggests that distracted driving laws are ineffective

Nevada is one of 15 states to have passed legislation banning the use of cell phones and other mobile electronic devices by drivers, but a recent study from a road safety analytics company suggests that even the harshest distracted driving laws are largely ineffective. The figures also suggest that the problem of distracted driving in the United States is far more serious than safety groups or government agencies imagine.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that about 660,000 American drivers use cell phones while behind the wheel every day, but the Zendrive study, which was based on anonymized consumer data, suggests that the true figure could be as high as 69 million. This would mean that as many as 6 out of 10 motorists engage in this potentially deadly behavior on a daily basis.

Legislators in Nevada are not the only state lawmakers to find that passing distracted driving legislation does little to solve the problem. Cell phone use among motorists increased over the last year in virtually every state with such laws on the books, and it rose by 37 percent in Washington, where drivers can be ticketed for merely touching a cell phone even if their vehicles are stationary in traffic. Mississippi, Rhode Island and Louisiana are home to the nation's most distracted drivers, according to the study, and motorists in Oregon, Montana and Washington spend the least amount of time looking at their cell phone screens.

Experienced personal injury attorneys may pursue civil lawsuits against distracted drivers who cause serious car accidents even in situations where prosecutors do not feel that the evidence is strong enough to support criminal charges. This is because the burden of proof is set lower in civil courts, and personal injury attorneys are only required to establish that their clients' accounts of the events in question are more likely true than not.

Source: Zendrive, "100 times worse than we thought: Insights from a Zendrive's 2018 Distracted Driving Snapshot," Cameron Jahn, Accessed April 27, 2018

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