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Washington D.C. Drivers Increasingly Distracted & Dangerous on the Roads

There are more people getting cell phones and smart phones every day, which makes the roads more dangerous. An experienced car accident lawyer knows drivers continue to talk, text, and otherwise use their cell phones behind the wheel despite public education about dangers and despite laws restricting phone use. This has caused the number of crashes caused by distracted driving to rise dramatically.

More People are Using Phones and Causing Crashes

CNBC reported new data from the National Safety Council (NSC), showing more people are using their cell phones while driving and thus the crash rate due to distracted driving continues to rise. In 2013, 27 percent of all auto accidents in the United States occurred because of someone who was using a phone and who was distracted as a result. This means there were 1,535,490 million distracted driving collisions.

WIVB reports many of the people who have phones know it is dangerous to operate them while behind the wheel. But they still do it. One new study revealed 10 percent of drivers video chat, 61 percent text and drive, and 17 percent take "selfies" while operating a vehicle. At least 22 percent of people who use a social network while driving say they do so because they are addicted.

Drivers may find phone use to be acceptable in part because they see so many people doing it, even though it is against the law.The fact so many people do it explains why there are nine people killed every day because of driver distraction.

Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police note it has been illegal to use a handheld cell phone while driving in the District since 2004. Government and public safety authorities are not the only ones trying to put a stop to the troubling behavior. More than eight million employees are now covered by bans at work prohibiting them from using a cell phone while they are in a work vehicle or doing work tasks. Employers have had to increasingly crack down on worker phone use because an employer could be held legally liable for car crashes their workers cause in the line of duty. Even employees covered by a phone ban, however, may break the rules.

One possible solution is new technologies designed to prevent motorists from doing what they know is dangerous. CNBC reported on one new device which can be mounted in vehicles in order to stop a driver from talking on the phone or texting while he is operating the vehicle. The device would still allow a driver to use his cell phone to call 911 in the event an emergency occurs.

Employers who wish to reduce the chances of becoming responsible for an accident may wish to look into these technologies for company vehicles. Parents should also consider technologies stopping teen phone calls, and drivers who have a difficult time resisting temptation may even want to think about putting a call-stopping device in their own car so they don't give in and pick up the phone.

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