Distracted driving has become a significant problem in the United States. With the rise of smartphones, it’s become all too easy to pick up a device and take your eyes off the road. As a result, federal guidelines have been put in place to help curb the problem of distracted driving. In this article, we’ll explore the federal guidelines designed to get drivers to put down their phones and how they work.
Distracted driving is a significant problem on American roads. It’s been estimated that approximately nine people are killed every day in the US due to distracted driving. One of the most significant contributors to distracted driving is the use of mobile phones. The problem has become so pervasive that federal guidelines have been put in place to help combat it.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what distracted driving is, the different types of distractions, and the federal guidelines that have been put in place to help address the problem.
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- 1 Understanding Distracted Driving
- 2 Federal Guidelines to Combat Distracted Driving
- 3 Effectiveness of Federal Guidelines
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 FAQs
Understanding Distracted Driving
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines distracted driving as “driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving.”
Types of Distractions
There are three types of distractions that can lead to distracted driving. These are:
- Visual Distractions – Anything that takes your eyes off the road.
- Manual Distractions – Anything that takes your hands off the wheel.
- Cognitive Distractions – Anything that takes your mind off driving.
The use of mobile phones while driving can result in all three types of distractions, making it one of the most dangerous activities while driving.
Federal Guidelines to Combat Distracted Driving
Overview of Federal Guidelines
To combat distracted driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has created federal guidelines that all states are encouraged to adopt. These guidelines are designed to restrict the use of mobile phones while driving and to help reduce the number of distracted driving accidents.
States with the Strictest Cell Phone Laws
As of 2023, 24 states and the District of Columbia have laws prohibiting the use of handheld devices while driving. Of those 24 states, the following have the strictest laws:
- New York
- New Jersey
Penalties for Distracted Driving
The penalties for distracted driving vary by state, but they can include fines, license suspension, and even jail time in some cases. In addition to the legal penalties, distracted driving can also lead to higher insurance rates and can make it harder to find affordable insurance in the future.
Effectiveness of Federal Guidelines
Studies on the Effectiveness of Federal Guidelines
Several studies have been conducted to determine the effectiveness of federal guidelines designed to combat distracted driving. One study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that states with the strictest laws against using handheld devices while driving saw a 16% reduction in fatal crashes involving distracted driving. Another study conducted by the NHTSA found that the implementation of handheld device laws led to a decrease in the number of drivers using handheld devices while driving.
Public Perception of Federal Guidelines
Despite the effectiveness of federal guidelines, there is still a need for education and awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. A survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that while 88% of drivers believed that distracted driving was a significant problem, 49% admitted to using their mobile phones while driving.
Distracted driving is a serious problem that requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders to combat. The federal guidelines implemented by the NHTSA are a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done to educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. By working together, we can reduce the number of accidents caused by distracted driving and keep our roads safe.
- What is distracted driving?
- Distracted driving is any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road.
- What are the three types of distractions?
- The three types of distractions are visual, manual, and cognitive.
- What are federal guidelines?
- Federal guidelines are recommendations created by the NHTSA to help reduce the number of distracted driving accidents.
- What are the penalties for distracted driving?
- The penalties for distracted driving vary by state but can include fines, license suspension, and even jail time in some cases.
- How effective are federal guidelines in combating distracted driving?
- Studies have shown that federal guidelines can be effective in reducing the number of distracted driving accidents, but more needs to be done to educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.