From texting to eating to choosing just the right song to listen to, distracted driving may be the most widespread problem on the road nowadays. And no matter how much it’s talked about, people still do it. So much so that the US government even has a website dedicated to the issue. According to this site, “the best way to end distracted driving is to educate all Americans about the danger it poses.” We agree, but one of the obstacles to that goal is the fact that different states have different laws about distracted driving.

In Idaho, the laws addressing this issue are somewhat lax compared to other states. There is a ban on any text messaging while driving, but that’s about it. Distracted driving can be noted by officers when writing accident reports, however, which could affect the outcome of any other traffic violation or accident you are involved in.

Of all the possible distracted driving laws Idaho could enforce, why a ban on texting? It is likely because texting while driving is widely accepted as the most prevalent and dangerous form of distracted driving. Here are some facts and tips to keep you alert and safe:

  • In 2013, over 3,000 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers.
    • The number of people injured in these kinds of crashes was over 400,000. If you cause a collision while distracted in any way, your responsibility for whatever damage is caused increases. The fact that it’s illegal is reason enough not to text while driving, but the tragic consequences it can have should motivate us to keep our hands off of our phones until it’s safe.
  • The average time your eyes are off the road while texting is 5 seconds. At highway speed, you will travel a distance longer than a football field in that time.
    • Drivers are unpredictable, especially at high speeds. It may seem safe to take your eyes off the road, but it only takes a moment for someone to make a mistake. If you aren’t alert and ready to react, you may find yourself in a high-speed collision.
  • 25% of teens respond to a text once or more every time they drive. 20% have extended, multi-text conversations.
    • The problem with distracted driving isn’t just that it puts you in danger, but it puts everyone on the road with you in danger. Even if you never text while driving, other people do. That makes your cautious driving even more important. Be on the lookout for drivers who are drifting in and out of lanes, braking late, or doing anything that suggests they may be focusing on something besides the road.

Accidents caused by distracted driving, especially texting, are an unfortunate and very preventable side effect of new technology. It is likely that many of us know someone who has been impacted by it, and perhaps even seriously injured or killed in an accident. If you or someone you know has been hurt in a collision with a distracted driver, we want to help. As a law firm dedicated to defending those who have been injured, we will do our best to help you get back on your feet.

Photo via Lord Jim and Flickr

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