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New Study Shows That Distracted Driving Laws Decrease Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes for Teens


According to a new study, laws that prohibit teenage drivers not only from texting, but from using hand-held phones in any way and engaging in all distracted driving behavior work to decrease fatal auto accidents amongst 16- to 19-year-old drivers.  Specifically, according to the study, states like Rhode Island that have “primary” texting bans (where a police officer can pull the driver over solely for that particular offense – distracted driving, texting, etc.) had lower crash death rates amongst teens.

Still, unfortunately, even with all of the research out there linking distracted driving with car accidents, and proof that car accidents continue to be the leading cause of death for teens in the US, teens texting while driving is still a serious issue. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving led to almost 3,000 deaths in 2018 alone.

Educating Teens About Distracted Driving Saves More Than Just Drivers’ Lives

The study also demonstrated that deaths involving teenage drivers increase with each year of age up through age 19 (i.e. they are highest for 19-year-olds) and in states that had texting bans, fatal auto accidents were not only reduced for teenage drivers, but for teenage passengers as well. Those behind the study (pediatric care physicians) emphasized how important it is that parents set the example for their teen drivers, as children often emulate what their parents do. Indeed, parents who have lost children due to distracted driving have pleaded to other parents to have serious talks with them about the dangers of distractions and the lives that are impacted when teens engage in distracted driving.

Does The Law in Rhode Island Go Far Enough?

In Rhode Island, all drivers are prohibited from using any hand-held wireless communication devices, as well as wearing headphones or any accessories that cover both ears. If a police officer observes you texting or talking while driving, they can pull you over and issue a fine of up to $100 and/or suspend your license for up to 30 days (second and subsequent offenses include higher fines and longer licenses suspensions). Drivers can, however, use hands-free accessories, such as a Bluetooth, as well as engage in other activities, such as eating, which arguably still allows for a certain amount of distracted driving to occur.

Work with The Best Distracted Driving Recovery Lawyer in Rhode Island

If you or a loved one were injured or killed due to a distracted driver, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced lawyer who has worked on distracted driving cases right away.

At Kiselica Law Firm, we have years of experience obtaining compensation and helping clients in Rhode Island on the road to recovery after experiencing injury and harm due to distracted drivers. Contact our Manchester car accident attorneys today to find out more.


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