Law enforcement officers in the Little Rock area are cracking down on distracted driving -- and for good reason:
- The number of traffic accidents in the area has spiked in 2016. In Benton, for example, traffic accidents have increased by 44 percent compared to this time last year.
- Nationwide, 3,129 people died in distracted driving accidents in 2014 -- the last year with up-to-date data.
- Texting distracts a driver's eyes for an average of five seconds, long enough for a car going 55 miles per hour to cover the length of a football field.
- Arkansas law bans texting while driving.
- Cell phone use of any kind is banned for novice drivers and bus drivers.
- Drivers who are 18 to 20 years old are prohibited from using handheld devices while driving.
An Ongoing Problem
Like you, the state and local police are well aware of the problem of distracted driving. In fact, the North Little Rock Police Department recently established a patrol that specifically targets distracted drivers. Police officers will be in unmarked cars and on the lookout for distracted driving of all kinds, but particularly texting while driving.
The new patrol comes after police received complaints about distracted driving on a daily basis.
Similarly, in Benton, local police and the Arkansas Highway Patrol launched an initiative called Operation Traffic Safety 101 for the month of July, when extra patrols will specifically target texting and other forms of distracted driving.
The Keys to Safe Driving: Education, Responsibility and Enforcement
Driver distraction is a form of negligence. As with drunk driving, the keys to preventing distracted driving accidents are driver education, personal responsibility and effective law enforcement.
Victims injured by distracted drivers may also be entitled to compensation for a variety of costs resulting from the crash. Those costs may include medical expenses, rehabilitation, lost income, diminished earning capacity and others.
If you have legal concerns about any of these matters, seek advice from an experienced personal injury attorney. Often the amount of compensation initially offered by the insurance company is not the full amount due, and a committed lawyer can help you obtain the maximum in compensation.