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October 11, 2013

Distracted Driving in Arizona

Filed under: Arizona Criminal Law — Tags: , — Josh Blumenreich @ 8:00 am

distracteddrivingMany states are recognizing that distracted driving can be very dangerous. It used to be that all we had to worry about was people glancing down to change the radio station or spilling coffee. Since there are a number of portable electronic devices now, driving that has ended in an accident has gone up exponentially.

Studies have shown that people who text and drive take an average of five seconds to read a text or respond to an email. At highway speeds, five seconds is more than enough time to cover the length of a football field. A survey conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) showed that 61 percent drivers between the ages of 16 to 24 admitted to texting while driving. That’s a lot of distracted drivers on the road.

In 2009, the US Department of Transportation found that drivers who text and drive were 23 times more likely to be at risk for an auto accident than those who are not driving while distracted. This study also showed that over 5,000 car accidents involved distractions and a fifth of those involved portable electronic devices such as cell phones.

With such a great risk texting and driving presents to the residents of Arizona, there is only a state-wide ban from bus-drivers using portable electronic devices. Phoenix and Tucson have bans on texting while driving that will fine violators $100 to $250. Glendale is also working on a similar ban.

Currently, 41 states have banned text messaging for all drivers; with 12 of these states enacting these laws in 2010. Arizona is one of five states without state-wide distracted driving laws of any kind. Lawmakers that oppose the ban of texting while driving claims that drivers should be able to make their own decisions and that the laws in place already apply to distracted driving as well, making a ban unnecessary for texting and cell phone use.

Yet, in 2012, the Arizona Department of Transportation concluded that of 195,762 car accidents, 11,139 of those were due to distracted or inattentive driving. The use of a portable electronic device, or cell phone, was a factor in 197 of those car accidents. While Arizona is currently fighting to make a state-wide ban on cellphone use while driving, it still may be awhile before any kind of ban passes. If you are being accused of distracted driving and need representation, please contact The Blumenreich Law Firm today for a free initial consultation.

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