Distracted driving kills. Thousands of people are killed every year nationwide, and nearly half a million people are injured, due to distracted driving. Distracted driving happens anytime you take your hands off of the wheel, take your eyes off of the road or take your mind off of driving. Statistics show that the country's youngest and most inexperienced drivers are the most at risk.
Federal statistics show that 3,092 people died and an estimated 416,000 were injured in 2010 in crashes in which distracted driving played a role. Research from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) showed that drivers using hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into a serious crash, and that hands-free cellphones aren’t much safer because just talking on the phone reduces the brain power focused on driving by 37 percent.
- 16% of all distracted driving crashes involve a driver under age 20.
- At any given moment during daylight hours more than 800,000 vehicles are being driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone.
- In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010.
- 18% of injury crashes in 2010 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
In 2004, the District of Columbia enacted laws to restrict mobile phone use while driving. Here's what you need to know:
- It is illegal for motorists to use a mobile phone or other electronic device while driving in the District of Columbia, unless the telephone or device is equipped with a hands-free accessory.
- It is illegal for motorists to text while driving in District of Columbia.
- Individuals with a learner's permit and school bus drivers are prohibited from using any mobile phone or other electronic device, even if it has a hands-free accessory, unless they are placing an emergency call.
- The penalty for violating the law is $100. There are no points imposed on violators.
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