Texting while driving is a major cause of car and motor vehicle accidents in Rhode Island, Massachusetts (MA), the RI Capital City of Providence and across the United States. Texting and driving also causes many truck, bicycle, pedestrian and motorcycle collisions.
Texting while driving accident in RI
If you are injured in a RI Car accident or pedestrian accident caused by driver negligence including distracted driving then it is imperative that you don’t just call a RI personal injury attorney but you retain an experienced Rhode Island Texting While Driving Accident Attorney. Here is a great info graphic concerning the dangers of texting and driving” In 2011, at least 23 % of auto collisions involved cell phones”
2018- Rhode Island bans use of cell phones while driving
(b)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person shall operate a motor vehicle while using a hand-held personal wireless communication device to engage in a call while such vehicle is in motion. RI Law
RI motorcycle accident attorney
Distracted driving has led to an alarming increase in auto accidents, truck collisions as well as motorcycle wrecks in Rhode Island, Massachusetts (Mass.) and across New England. Sadly, many texting and driving motor vehicle accidents are deadly. If a spouse or family member is killed in a distracted driving accident it is crucial that a RI wrongful death attorney is retained. If an accident is fatal, the lawsuit must be pursued by the executor or administrator of the decedents estate against the tort feasor liable / at fault for the fatal wreck. Of course, the executor of the estate must retain a Rhode Island Personal Injury Lawyer.
Texting and driving automobile accidents can cause everything from your basic whiplash to a herniated disk, soft tissue injury, spinal cord injury, paralysis, fractured bone or vertebrae, concussion, broken arm or leg, traumatic head injury, depression and even death.
Federal Texting and Operating a Motor Vehicle statistics:
- “At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010. (NOPUS)” http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html
- “Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind. (VTTI)” distraction
- “A quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving. (UMTRI)” Id.
According to the National highway safety Administration texting while driving “is by far the most alarming distraction.” However, distracted driving is not just limited to texting and can include:
- cell phone, mobile phone, electronic device or operation of smartphone such as dialing a cell phone
- utilizing a hands free cell phone or mobile device
- eating or drinking beverages
- brushing hair, fixing makeup, personal grooming
- reviewing or utilization of a GPS,
- operating a Radio, CD Player, dvd player etc.
- Adjusting the heat or air conditioning
- Mental distraction
- Disciplining children
- Looking at other passengers
- Sexual activity while driving
- Distraction by outside activity
- Web surfing, updating Facebook status, tweeting while driving etc
Rhode Island texting while driving law:
” (b) No person shall use a wireless handset to compose, read or send text messages while operating a motor vehicle on any public street or public highway within the state of Rhode Island.”
” (8) “Wireless Handset” means a portable electronic or computing device, including cellular telephones and digital personal assistants (PDAs), capable of transmitting data in the form of a text message.” Id.
“”Text Message”, also referred to as short messaging service (SMS) means the process by which users send, read, or receive messages on a wireless handset, including but not limited to, text messages, instant messages, electronic messages or e-mails, in order to communicate with any person or device.” Id.
” (e) Any person who violates any of the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of eighty-five dollars ($85.00), or a license suspension for up to thirty (30) days, or both; for a second conviction shall be subject to a fine of one hundred dollars ($100), or a license suspension for up to three (3) months, or both; and for a third or subsequent conviction a person shall be subject to a fine of one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125), or a license suspension for up to six (6) months, or both. All violations arising out of this section shall be heard in the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal. ” Id.
In late 2013, we shared an article called “Don’t Kill The Messenger” wherein it was made clear that the act of texting while driving is a serious, dangerous problem in our state (and the rest of the country for that matter). In fact, any type of distracted driving is dangerous.
While Rhode Island banned the activity in 2009, that’s not exactly stopping everyone from whipping out their smartphone to send a text, tweet, etc. when they’re behind the wheel. It remains an issue that deserves constant discussion, particularly when looking at the stats from last year’s National Security Council Injury Facts release. They revealed that 26 percent of accidents are related to cell phone use, which is up from the previous year. And while it’s estimated that 5 percent of accidents were caused by texting, 21 percent were caused by someone talking on their phone (either directly or through a hands-free option).
Now, that 5 percent figure may seem like a positive, and it certainly is when compared to how many drivers are causing collisions while talking. However, there is no denying the fact that texting while driving is something we all need to avoid. According to Verizon Wireless, you are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash if you’re texting while driving.
Teens and texting while driving in RI
A big reason for that is the average text takes about 4.6 seconds to write and send. In that amount of time (which may seem brief but truly isn’t), you can drive the entire length of a football field (100 yards) completely blind if traveling at 55 mph. Of course, that distance fluctuates based on your speed, but it’s pretty damning information either way. Equally damning are these facts (per Verizon) — 25 percent of teens admit to responding to one or more texts while driving and 57 percent of drivers ages 21 to 24 send texts or emails while behind the wheel.
The question that remains is why are people continuing to drive while distrcted? Why can’t we just put the phone down and leave it there when we’re driving, an activity that requires our full attention to do so safely and effectively. One argument that people make is that they need to stay “connected” with their contacts, who may feel “ignored” if they don’t get an immediate response. Well, here’s the thing: there’s an app to take care of that problem. Safely Go (for Android devices) is a free app that sends automatic replies to people calling or texting you to inform them that you are paying attention to the road.
While apps such as these are definitely helpful, especially in preventing distraction, what’s most important is ensuring that people are knowledgeable about the dangers of texting and driving. Unless the message you’re about to send is an emergency—chances are very likely it isn’t—remember that it can wait.
- “The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
- 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
- Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
- Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. Traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field.
- Texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent with eyes off the road.
- Of all cell phone related tasks, texting is by far the most dangerous activity.
- 94% of drivers support a ban on texting while driving.
- 74% of drivers support a ban on hand-held cell phone use. ” Edgar Snyder and Associates Edgar Snyder
Texting and Driving News:
Texting Possible Factor in Fatal R.I. Accident Involving Manchester Woman
” There was a text on the phone close to the time of the accident,….There was some sort of a texting conversation taking place before the accident. Parrillo said local police are investigating if that was a possible factor in the collision.” Manchester Patch
Hendricken students pledge not to text while driving:
“After viewing “The Last Text,” an AT&T documentary, 450 juniors and seniors at Bishop Hendricken High School in Warwick signed a pledge not to text while driving.Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin visited the school last week, along with Rhode Island State Police Major James Manni, and Rhode Island Department of Transportation Director Michael Lewis to present “It Can Wait,” a national public awareness campaign that asks students to avoid texting while driving, as it has the potential to be fatal.” Source
“They included a young man dealing with emotional issues because he hit and killed a bicyclist when he looked down to read a text, another man who is unable to walk because he was involved in a nearly fatal crash, a young woman responsible for sending a text that resulted in her sister’s death, a mother who lost her daughter on the eve of her high school graduation, and a police officer who spoke of often reporting to fatal car accidents related to texting.” Id.