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Study Questions the Effectiveness of Distracted Driving Laws

Lawmakers in Kentucky have yet to ban the use of phones by divers, but the results of a recent study suggest that such a law would have little effect on road safety in the Bluegrass State. The technology firm Zendrive used anonymized consumer data to find out how long drivers in various parts of the country spend looking at their phone screens each day, and they found that this kind of reckless behavior is becoming worryingly common even in states with strict distracted driving laws.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that approximately 660,000 drivers are distracted by phones in the United States each day, but the Zendrive study calls this figure into question. The Zendrive researchers put the number of distracted American drivers at 69 million, which represents more than 60 percent of all motorists. The data indicate that drivers use their phones for an average of three minutes and 40 seconds every hour. Unfortunately, strict regulations seem to have little influence on this dangerous activity.

Rhode Island has a distracted driving law on its books, but it still has the second-highest rate of distracted driving, according to the Zendrive study. Washington has one of the strictest phone bans in the country (motorists in the state can be cited for simply touching a mobile device even if their vehicles are stationary), yet the study suggests that even a law this harsh was not enough to stop driver phone usage to surge by 37 percent in 2017.

Distracted drivers rarely take evasive action before crashing, and they sometimes lose their lives in the car accidents they cause. Those who suffer injury, loss or damage may believe that this makes seeking compensation for their medical bills, lost income and property damage impossible. However, experienced personal injury attorneys may still pursue civil remedies in these situations by filing lawsuits against the deceased motorist’s estate or insurance company.