Oklahoma’s texting law getting results

Oklahoma's 1-year-old ban on texting while driving has paid off, an analysis by the state Highway Safety Office suggests. At the anniversary of the state's texting & driving law, statistics show reductions in distraction-related events across the board: in total crashes linked to distractions, injury and non-injury crashes, and in fatalities. The Oklahoma texting law went into effect Nov. 1, 2015. (Oklahoma at the time was one of the few remaining states without a ban on text messaging by all drivers.) Studies of the effectiveness of handheld device laws have produced mixed results … [Read more...]

Nine states flagged for texting laws

An annual survey of highway safety laws gigs nine states for having ineffective distracted driving laws. Six of those receive overall "red" ratings for anemic safety laws. A majority of the states gigged as falling "dangerously behind in adoption of key safety laws" were lacking texting and driving laws with full enforcement. Those "red" states are Arizona, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa and Florida. "People are needlessly dying on our streets and roads while state elected leaders are needlessly delaying enactment of lifesaving laws," group President Jacqueline Gillan … [Read more...]

NTSB posts distraction as ‘Most Wanted’

The NTSB has unveiled its "Most Wanted List" of changes in 2016 to save lives and reduce transportation accidents. Not surprisingly, "deadly distractions" get major play. "It will take a cultural change for drivers to understand that their safety depends on disconnecting from deadly distractions," the National Transportation Safety Board says in its breakout on the issue. The NTSB, which mostly investigates public transportation crashes, says it found portable electronic device distraction as a cause or contributing factor in 11 accidents that killed 50 people and injured 259. In … [Read more...]

U.S. traffic deaths up 14% so far in 2015

U.S. traffic deaths are up 14 percent for the first six months of 2015, with serious injuries posting a 30 percent increase, the National Safety Council says. At least three states are reporting midyear spikes in fatalities, and all of them are being linked to distracted driving. Through June, almost 19,000 died in traffic crashes across the nation. More than 2.2 million were seriously injured, compared with the first six months of 2014. The numbers have "the country on pace for its deadliest driving year since 2007," the NSC warns. "Follow the numbers: the trend we are seeing on … [Read more...]

Social media a major roadway distraction

Almost half of drivers distracted by their smartphones are busy using social media, a new survey suggests. Key activities self-reported by the drivers -- in addition to texting and using email -- include "surfing the Net," taking selfies and shooting videos. Seven in 10 people who own smartphones and use them daily engage in some form of smartphone activity while driving, a survey conducted for wireless carrier AT&T shows. Most of those activities are against the law, depending on the state. Facebook, of course, takes the top spot in social media, with a quarter of the smartphone … [Read more...]