DPS v. Distracted Driving
Efforts to target and curb distracted driving in the state of Arizona were put into practice from April 10th-15th. The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) is pursuing goals set forth by a national campaign to curb distracted driving.
Changing Driving Behavior
The campaign focuses on changing driving behavior through education and enforcement of existing traffic laws. Commonly occurring violations include: speeding, unsafe lane use, and failure to yield or stop. These violations are actually direct results of distracted driving rather than intentional violations. DPS has been collecting enforcement and crash related data since November of 2013.
Not Just Texting Considered Distracted Driving
While it is the most common, distractions include acts beyond text messaging while driving a car. Data shows the top five distractions include: distractions outside the vehicle or on the roadway, reaching for objects inside the vehicle, use of cell phones, adjusting other equipment, and other occupants in the vehicle. DPS wants the public to avoid any and all of the distracters that result in collisions.
Distracted drivers often have the same driving characteristics as those with impaired driving. These characteristics include: inconsistent speed, unsafe lane usage and following other vehicles too closely. An even more shocking fact is that distracted driving delays a driver’s reaction time in the same way driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol does. This means that a distracted driver has the same reaction time as a driver with a 0.08 percent blood alcohol content.
Prevention is Key
DPS Highway Patrol Assistant Director, Lt. Col. James McGuffin, said, “We don’t want to wait until more crashes take place to do something about distracted driving. We want our officers to catch distracted driving behavior early.”
As an additional way to educate and raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, officers distributed information brochures during routine traffic stops. Highway Patrol officers will continue to target collision-causing violations as well as continue in their efforts of documenting collisions attributed to driver distraction.
If you’ve suffered from a distracted driver accident, you need the expert advice of personal injury attorneys such as those at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC.
Source: The Bugle, DPS to deter distracted driving in Arizona, April 10, 2014
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