Texting and Distracted Driving by Arizona Motorists

On a daily basis in the United States more than 9 people are killed and over 1,000 people are injured in crashes that are attributable to a distracted driver.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) further state that there are three main types of distraction:

• Visual: taking your eyes off the road

• Manual: taking your hands off the wheel

• Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving

Distracted driving obviously includes activities such as using a cell phone or texting. Using a cell phone is particularly dangerous because all three types of distractions are involved. Researchers have written about inattention blinders, where a person engaged in a mentally demanding task can fail to recognize something happening right in front of him or her.

Younger and more inexperienced drivers may be at an increased risk, they have the highest proportion of distraction related fatal crashes.

Approximately 40 states have passed laws banning texting while driving. Federal employees are prohibited from texting while driving on government business or with government equipment.

Phoenix City Code section 36-76.01 prohibits, with some exceptions, using a personal digital assistant to send or receive a written message, while a motor vehicle is in motion.

In Arizona, except for school bus drivers, there is no state law ban on cell phone use while driving, the driver can still be held liable for negligence in causing a crash.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov/Morotvehiclesafety/Pedestrian_safety/