According to recent data, that old stereotype about women being nonstop cellphone talkers does not seem to hold true. More men in the Constitution State have received tickets for talking or texting on cellphones while driving than women since the cellphone ban went into effect six years ago.
Despite women comprising slightly more than half of the 2.5 million drivers in Connecticut, men received between 52 and 54 percent of the distracted driving tickets each year, according to state records obtained by the Associated Press.
The fact that men are violating Connecticut's distracted driving law is not surprising said David Snyder of the American Insurance Association. "Statistics show that male drivers are more likely than female drivers to engage in risk-taking behavior and more males than females die in motor vehicle crashes every year," Snyder told the Associated Press.
According to a 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center, the theme of male drivers taking risks is prevalent outside of Connecticut's borders. The survey found that 51 percent of men who text admitted to sending or reading messages while they were driving, as opposed to 42 percent of women. As for talking on a cellphone while driving, there was no significant difference between the sexes-78 percent of men admitted to it, compared to 72 percent of women.
Regardless of whether the driver is a man or woman, distracted driving is a safety threat to the roadways of Connecticut and beyond. In 2010, 3,092 motorists nationwide lost their lives in car accidents caused by distracted driving. According to distraction.gov, the U.S. Department of Transportation's official website on distracted driving, studies have shown that text messaging increases the risk of being involved in a car accident by 23 times.
Using a cellphone to talk while driving is not any safer than text messaging. Regardless of whether the cellphone is hand-held or hands-free, studies have shown their use can delay a driver's reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent-the maximum limit in all states.
The Connecticut legislature has responded to the threat to safety that distracted driving causes by banning texting and using hand-held cellphones for all drivers. Violators of the law are subject to a $125 fine for the first offense and $250 for a second offense. If the violator is a teen under the age of 18, the driver's license can be suspended.
Despite the law's prohibition of distracting mobile devices while driving, there will always be those who choose not to observe the ban. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident, advise you of your rights and work to hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries.