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Should there be A Federal Law Against Texting and Driving?

texting and driving

As the use of cell phones increases, the rate of distracted driving cases and resulting car accidents has also increased. Texting and driving are the main culprits in this regard, along with GPS and other electronic devices meant to facilitate travel.

More than 3,000 people are killed and 400,000 are injured yearly in the US because of distracted driving, making it a public health issue. However, whether it should be a federal law banning it is still debatable, as per a Kenosha distracted driving accident lawyer.

Federal Laws on Distracted Driving

While the state has set traffic laws for public safety, the federal government has also developed specific prohibitions for some drivers’ cell phone usage across the nation. Per an Executive Order by the President in 2009, drivers who work for the federal government cannot text and drive or be distracted from the road while using government vehicles or equipment or working for official government business. That is a workforce that has over 4 million federal employees.

However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has also set its own rules for federal drivers that allow them to hold a mobile device to make calls or speed dial using a hands-free device. These special rules are in place to facilitate their duties. The federal government has also provided guidelines to vehicle manufacturers to reduce the number of devices that can distract drivers.

To reduce texting and driving cases, the federal government has supported relevant research, provided financial aid and benefits to encourage educational programs, and developed nationwide educational campaigns.

Why Texting and Driving Should Not Be a Federal Issue

An all-encompassing federal ban on texting and driving can compromise the efforts of highway safety authorities in each state. While drunk driving is banned across the country, it doesn’t apply to all roads the federal government owns. These mainly apply to public spaces, Indian reservations, and military bases where few people venture. The remaining are covered by state laws pertaining to impaired or distracted driving.

While the government gives incentives to states such as Kenosha, WI, pertaining to open containers and stricter drunk driving regulations, further measures can compromise insurance payouts. A better approach may be treating texting and driving the same as other distracting factors rather than focusing entirely. Otherwise, we may be distracted from other significant safety challenges.

The ideal way to deal with this issue is to ensure drivers are trained and have the support they need to prevent accidents on the road. This includes solutions that can relieve them of some of their driving responsibilities. Highway safety professionals should also take measures to introduce such technologies in vehicles, enhance roadways and perhaps invest in self-driving cars in the future.

Contact the Law Offices of John V. O’Connor for a consultation today!

If you were involved in a car accident because the other party was texting and driving, contact a Kenosha distracted driving accident lawyer at the Law Offices of John V. O’Connor by dialing (262) 605-8400. We look at the whole picture before creating a legal strategy that can work for our clients and ensure they get the compensation they deserve. This includes ensuring they receive the medical attention they need for existing and future injuries from the accident.


    The Law Offices of John V. O'connor

    The Law Offices of John V. O'Connor
    600 52nd Street Suite 120
    Kenosha, WI 53140


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