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August 26, 2014

Study Suggests Arizona More Lenient on Potential Sex Offenders

An alarming new study indicates that the crime of soliciting sex from a minor in Arizona carries a shorter sentence than other serious offenses. A study conducted by the anti-sex trafficking group Shared Hope International and Arizona State University is raising some important questions about existing legislation. Soliciting sex to minors in Arizona is a […]

 

 

Dangers of Distracted Driving from an Arizona Child Safety and Injury Lawyer

Have you ever noticed someone texting on their cell phone and driving while distracted? Not paying attention while driving can end in serious injury and even death. Our Arizona child injury lawyer has seen the consequences of distracted driving all too often.

For distracted drivers involved in serious accidents, the distraction is three-fold:

1. Visually distracted. The driver takes his or her eyes off the road.

2. Manual distraction. The driver takes his or her hands off of the steering wheel.

3. Cognitive distraction. The driver takes his or her mind off the task at hand – driving.

This unfortunate reality is not restricted to adults either; teenagers are just as likely (if not more likely due to lack of driving experience) to cause accidents when distracted. The notion that teens are more capable than adults at driving vehicles while simultaneously operating mobile devices is a myth.  There were 3,000 incidents of vehicle-related teen (between the ages of 15 and 19) deaths in the United States in 2009 alone.

Arizona Child Safety and Injury Lawyer Looks to Statistical Evidence

Of course, most of us are adept at using mobile devices and smartphones while at work, home, and recreationally while out on an Arizona golf course or hiking the White Tank Mountains. However, driving is not the time or place for such activities. Drivers using cell phones look but do not see 50% of what is going on around them – this is a cognitive driver impairment behind the wheel. The Federal Communications Commission reports that “mobile communications are linked to a significant increase in distracted driving, resulting in injury and loss of life.”

According to the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted drivers in 2010 caused an estimated 3,092 fatalities. Although the NHTSA believed “the actual number of crashes that involve distracted driving [in 2010] could be higher.” For the sake of comparison, in 2008 the NHTSA figure was 5,754 distraction-related fatalities. That same year, 22% of all crashes were deemed caused by distracted drivers, injuring 515,000 victims.

Arizona Child Safety and Injury Attorney Changes Attitudes to Save Lives

The NHTSA also offered some chilling news of driver attitudes. As many as 75% of all drivers who participated in a national survey reported that “they were willing to answer calls on all, most, or some trips… and rarely consider traffic situations when deciding to use their phone.”

To change driver attitudes, our Arizona child safety and injury lawyer recommends that, if you have teenagers, make sure they understand that they should never attempt to text while driving. A drivers eyes are off the road 4.6 seconds out of every 6 seconds when they text and drive. Young drivers need to appreciate the dangers of distracted driving.

Give the young drivers in your household some simple, clear instructions. Do not use a cell phone or other wireless device while driving – “On the road, off the phone.” Before your son or daughter even begins drivers’ education, make sure he or she recognizes that taking one’s eyes off the road, even for a split-second, can result in death or injury. Yes, it really can happen that fast and the results can be catastrophic.

Our Arizona child safety and injury lawyer also encourages parents to lead by their own example. We know how quick teens are to pick up on the old “do as I say, not as I do” problem with adult inconsistencies. If you really want to teach your children to concentrate on driving while they’re driving, then you should do the same. Don’t text or talk on a hand-held mobile phone while you drive. Always pull off the road safely, before you attempt to text or talk on a cell phone. If you must use a mobile device while you drive, then use the hands-free wireless set-up in your vehicle so you never need to place a phone to your ear.

Arizona Does Not Ban Cell Phones and Texting While Driving

According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, as of January 2012, only nine states and D.C. prohibit cell phone use while driving, but no state bans all cell phone use for all drivers. However, 35 states and D.C. do ban text messaging for all drivers. At this time, Arizona bans the use of cell phones by school bus drivers, but has no other bans on cell phone use or texting while driving.

Have you or your loved one been seriously injured in an accident caused by an inattentive, careless, or distracted driver? Don’t delay getting legal advice from an Arizona child safety and injury lawyer. Email the Law Offices of Shane L. Harward or call 480.874.2981 to schedule a confidential consultation (but please, don’t call while you’re driving).

Resources:

Distraction.gov

GHSA Cell Phone and Texting Laws (AZ)

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Teen Drivers Fact Sheet

Ray LaHood, Save Lives on the Road – Hang Up and Drive

 

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Shane Harward Law Offices of Shane L. Harward PLC

10575 North 114th Street
Suite 103
Scottsdale, Arizona 85259

Telephone (480) 874-2918
Facsimile (480) 588-5063

By Appointment Only:
4809 East Thistle Landing Drive
Suite 100
Phoenix, Arizona 85044

Telephone 602-384-4638

Mailing Address:
Post Office Box 12877
Scottsdale, Arizona 85267