California Cell Phone Laws Have Resulted in Fewer Accidents

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fewer people are dying in California accidents linked to cell phone use while driving. Since laws banning the use of hand-held cell phones while driving were enacted in California, there has been a 47% reduction in traffic accident fatalities linked to cell phone use.

An analysis by the California Office of Traffic Safety compared accident fatality numbers two years before the law was amended, with the numbers 2 years after. According to the study, there were about 100 fatalities linked to cell phone use in the 2 years before the law banning hand-held cell phones went into effect in 2008. After the law went into effect, the number of fatalities dropped to 53.

While Los Angeles car accident lawyers attribute some of the decline to the fact that there has been an overall drop in traffic accident fatalities in the state of California, and that more cars now come with safety technology to keep occupants safe, the report does seem to indicate that there has been a decline in cell phone-related accident fatalities that can directly be linked to these laws.

Sen. Joseph Simitian, Democrat-Palo Alto who was the author of the bill that banned the use of hand-held cell phones while driving for motorists in California, is justifiably proud of the results of his legislation.

As far as the overall traffic accident fatalities caused by what the agency categorizes as ‘distracted driving’ are concerned, between 2006 and 2008, there were 396 fatalities traced to distracted driving. After the laws were implemented, those dropped to 278 fatalities, a drop of 30%. It must be noted here that the term ‘distracted driving’ includes not just the use of cell phones and texting while driving, but a number of other distractions that takes a driver’s attention away from the road, including applying makeup, snacking, talking with fellow passengers and so on.


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