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Distracted driving campaigns are making a difference

Statistics from the federal government paint a rather sobering picture of just how serious the problem of distracted driving remains on the roads and highways here in the U.S. For example, an astounding 3,154 people were killed and another 424,000 were injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers in 2013 alone.

While there are many factors behind these distracted driving-related crashes, the primary culprit is almost always smartphones, particularly motorists using them to text while driving. Indeed, statistics show that as many as seven in ten people use their smartphones behind the wheel.

As for the inherent dangers posed by texting while driving, consider that researchers have found it takes an average of only five seconds to text while driving, but that when traveling at least 55 miles-per-hour. this is the functional equivalent of traveling the length of an entire football field while blindfolded.

In recognition of this reality and the fact that young people -- teens and young adults -- are the population demographic perhaps most susceptible to this behavior, mobile provider AT&T has devised a safety campaign designed to raise awareness about the dangers posed by texting while driving called "It Can Wait."

One of the more notable aspects of this campaign is a driving simulator that utilizes the high-tech Oculus Rift to create a virtual reality presentation showcasing the dangers of texting while driving that ends in a violent collision.  

The simulator, which is currently making the rounds at colleges and high schools across Florida, is making an impression on students, many of whom have taken a pledge to stop engaging in the dangerous driving habit.

As effective as these types of efforts have been, there are some who say more is needed, calling on state lawmakers to toughen the law in Florida so that texting while driving becomes a primary traffic offense, meaning law enforcement officials can pull people over solely for this conduct.

What are your thoughts?

If the actions of a distracted driver have caused you or your family unimaginable harm, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and your options for justice. 

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Busciglio & Sheridan Law Group
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