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GHSA Steps in to Help Prevent Distracted Driving Car Accidents in Naples and Elsewhere

As we’ve recent reported on our Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, our state is one of the few states left that has absolutely no law in place prohibiting or restricting any or all drivers from using a cell phone or texting behind the wheel.
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The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is trying to change that. They recently released the very first comprehensive overview looking into distracted driving records, habits and car accident statistics. The report analyzed research from more than 350 scientific papers published between 2000 and 2011.

Our Naples car accident attorneys understand the hazards that are presented on our roadways when a driver engages in distracting activities behind the wheel. The new report, Distracted Driving: What Research Shows and What States Can Do, summarizes how distraction impacts driver performance and crash risk, how often drivers are distracted, what distracted driving is exactly and what countermeasures may be most effective and what states can do to reduce distracted driving.

“Despite all that has been written about driver distraction, there is still a lot that we do not know,” said GHSA Executive Director Barbara Harsha, who oversaw the report’s development. “Much of the research is incomplete or contradictory. Clearly, more studies need to be done addressing both the scope of the problem and how to effectively address it.”

The report suggests that states implement the following countermeasures to help curb the behavior:

-Evaluate the distracted driving laws and programs of other states. This evaluation should provide the information states need regarding which countermeasures are effective and which are not.

-Implement distracted driving communication programs.

-Record distracted driving in crash reports statewide. Be as detailed as possible to assist in evaluating current distracted driving laws and programs.

-States that have not already passed handheld bans (Florida) should wait until there is more definitive research and data are available on these laws’ effectiveness before create its own.

-Continue to leverage effective, low-cost roadway countermeasures. These countermeasures can include edgeline and centerline rumble strips. These measures are used to alert motorists when their car drifts out of their driving lane.

-Assist employers in developing and implementing distracted driving policies and programs.

“While distracted driving is an emotional issue that raises the ire of many on the road, states must take a research-based approach to addressing the problem. Until more research is conducted, states need to proceed thoughtfully, methodically and objectively,” says GHSA Executive Director Barbara Harsha.

Currently, 34 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam ban text messaging for all drivers. Twelve of these laws were enacted just in 2010 alone. Another 9 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving. Florida does not regulate driving distractions.

Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, Attorneys for the Injured, have spent four decades fighting for the rights of accident victims throughout South Florida, including Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, Port Charlotte and Sebring. Call for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. 1-800-283-2900.

More Blog Entries:

National Crash Study Examines Car Accidents in Florida, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, August 2, 2011

New Vehicle Technology — Contributing to Car Accidents in Fort Myers and Elsewhere?, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, July 24, 2011

Still Allowing Distracted Driving Accidents in Florida – One of the Last States to Regulate Cell Phone Use by Drivers, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, July 15, 2011