Distracted driving is an ongoing problem in Alabama and across the United States. This is true despite entreaties from safety advocates, agencies, legislators, law enforcement and parents for people to put their handheld devices down when they are operating a motor vehicle. Auto accidents with injuries and deaths can happen for many reasons, but in recent years, distraction has become a prominent challenge that still happens with troubling frequency. After a collision, people should think about the circumstances and make sure that a full investigation is conducted to determine if distraction played a role.
Bill to stop drivers from holding a cellphone when driving fails again
For the second consecutive year, a bill that would have made it illegal for drivers to hold a cellphone when driving faltered in the Alabama House of Representatives. In 2021, the bill failed to pass by one vote. The recent attempt to put the law in place again came undone based on a procedural vote. It needed three-fifths approval to pass and did not reach that threshold, falling three votes shy. There is a law against texting and driving, but not for talking on a cellphone. If people want to talk on their cellphone while they are operating a motor vehicle, they can legally still do so.
The ongoing debate has impassioned advocates seeking to strengthen the laws for distracted driving. The Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety went so far as to send a personal letter to the Alabama Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mac McCutcheon. In it, the statistics for distracted driving fatalities were mentioned. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Alabama had 731 road fatalities in 2021. This was a 10% spike from 2020. Distracted driving is believed to be a major factor in many of these accidents. It references a report from the Transportation Research Board (TRB) that analyzed distracted driving and state enforcement practices. It states that certain basic safety practices are known to avoid distracted driving accidents. Alabama lawmakers are encouraged to retain and improve the existing laws to try and make the roads safer.
After an auto accident, determining cause is crucial
An auto accident can lead to radical changes in a person’s life and their family’s lives in an instant. People who are simply heading to work, driving to an event or running errands could be in a crash without warning. This may lead to massive medical costs, lost wages, long-term personal challenges, and an uncertain future. A common obstacle for those who were hurt or lost a loved one is that they do not know who to trust or what steps they should take after the crash.
Having advice from those who are embedded in the community and are aware of local people’s concerns is essential to try and achieve a positive outcome. The case should be assessed, evidence accrued and information gathered to see if it was because of a distracted driver or for another reason. Calling for advice is useful from the beginning as this can help with any problem that arises and lessen at least some of the worry after an accident.