Distracted driving, particularly distractions caused by cellphone usage, is a big issue not only in Connecticut, but nationwide. Texting while driving is the cause of many car accidents across the state, accidents which often lead to serious injury or fatality to the victims. The increase of incidents involving individuals texting while behind the wheel has local authorities looking to crack down on this dangerous habit.
Laws prohibiting cellphone use while driving were passed back in 2005. Over the years, changes have been made to the law in order to keep up with evolving technologies. This past October, the law was updated to prohibit texting even while stopped in traffic.
Admittedly, local police report that enforcing cellphone use while driving often proves to be a difficult task; new technologies and programs are being tried to find out what works best to stop these offenders. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has provided grant money, which is being distributed to several local area police departments by the Department of Transportation, to supply funds to collect data on tactics which may be implemented nationwide. So far, the most effective move they have made seems to be using unmarked police vehicles to spot these drivers. Typically, when drivers see a police car they can quickly drop their phone making it appear that they aren’t using it; however, with an unmarked police car, drivers don’t think about putting their phone down and this makes them easier to spot.
Local authorities are taking distracted driving very seriously and are doing their best to find solutions. In the meantime, car accidents caused by distracted drivers are still a huge concern and very much a reality for numerous residents in Connecticut. Those who have been injured or lost a loved one in such an accident may be entitled to pursue civil actions against the driver deemed responsible. If liability is established before a civil court, victims of these accidents and their families may be granted financial compensation for the losses they have endured due to the incident.
Source: greenwichtime.com, “Cops target texters behind the wheel“, Denis J. O’Malley, March 27, 2014