Teens quick to pick up distractions

teen text messaging

Newly licensed teens start out paying close attention to the road but quickly turn into distracted drivers, according to a new study. Multitasking behaviors such as talking on cell phones and eating while behind the wheel peak about a year and a half after the teens begin to drive, the study by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute researchers suggested. "Novice drivers are more likely to engage in high-risk secondary tasks more frequently over time as they became more comfortable with driving," said Charlie Klauer, group leader of teen risk at the institute. "This appears to be an … [Read more...]

Adults more distracted than teens

Teenager with iPhone driving distracted

Teens often get the rap for the menace of distracted driving, but the evidence suggests thirtysomethings are by far the worst offenders. When asked by researchers about their cell phone use in the past month, 43 percent of adults ages 25-39 said they did "fairly often" or regularly while driving, compared with only 20 percent of teenagers. Across all age groups, two out of three drivers said they used a cell phone while driving in the past month. Among drivers under the age of 60, teens said they used cell phones less than any other age group. Since the study was self-reported, the … [Read more...]

Virginia: Cell phone, texting laws, legislation

flag of Virginia for hands free story

Distracted driving news: Text messaging by all drivers has been subject to primary enforcement for more than a year. In the law's first 10 months, 1,427 convictions for texting & driving were reported by the DMV. Fairfax County continues to post the most convictions, with 318. Primary enforcement for text messaging and driving allows police to stop and cite motorists for that offense alone. Fines have also were significantly increased as of July 1, 2013, from the old $20 to $125 (first offense) and from the previous $50 to $250 for subsequent offenses. There also is a $250 minimum fine … [Read more...]

Wyoming: Cell phone & texting laws, bills

Wyoming state flag

Distracted driving news: State Sen. Floyd Esquibel's 2014 plan to ban wearable computers with head-mounted displays -- as in high-tech glasses -- has advanced to the full Senate. The distracted driving legislation targets the Google Glass technology, which has yet to go public but has drawn concerns from traffic safety activists. Esquibel saw his texting & driving ban become law in 2010, but his 2013 plan to expand the distracted driving law to include handheld cell phones received a quick rejection. He did not return with that bill in 2014. Esquibel told a Senate panel he introduced the … [Read more...]

Cell phone safety: Bet you didn’t know …

Cell phone safety would seem largely a matter of common sense. Pay attention, watch the road and you’ll arrive safely. But researchers who have been studying cell phone-related accidents since the 1990s say there are some surprising ways in which wireless phones endanger drivers, passengers and pedestrians. For example, the simple act of talking on a cell phone actually decreases the quality of visual information received and processed by the brain. Talk more and you see less! State legislators are increasingly mandating hands-free cell phone use for drivers. Hands-free devices such as … [Read more...]