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Entries in Texting While Driving (7)

Saturday
Apr062013

Drivers Know Cellphone Use Dangerous, Use Them Anyway

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- While most drivers understand the dangers of using electronic devices while behind the wheel, a large percentage use them anyway, according to a survey released by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

According to the survey, released as part of the NHTSA's recognition of April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, approximately 660,000 drivers used cellphones or manipulated electronic devices while driving during daylight hours, numbers that have held steady since 2010.

While fiddling with a stereo or iPod is dangerous and distracting while driving, according to the NHTSA, texting and hand-held cellphone use were considered more dangerous and have garnered more attention from recent surveys and studies.

The NHTSA survey also found that 74 percent of drivers support a ban on hand-held cellphone use, while 94 percent believe texting while driving should be outlawed. On average, these drivers believed the fines for these offenses should be at least $200, according to the report.

Texting while driving is currently outlawed in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Hand-held cellphone use is outlawed in 10 states, and the District of Columbia.

Wireless provider AT&T released a texting while driving survey of its own last month. Ninety-eight percent of the drivers it polled also said they understood the dangers of texting while driving.

Despite the fact that almost all drivers surveyed by AT&T said texting and driving was dangerous, 43 percent of teenage drivers said they still did it, while 49 percent of older commuters admitted the same.

"Many drivers see distracted driving as risky when other drivers do it, but do not recognize how their own driving deteriorates," NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said in a statement. "I urge all motorists to use common sense and keep their attention focused solely on the task of safely driving."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun082012

One in Three Teens Text While Driving, CDC Finds

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- While teen drivers have reduced some risky behaviors behind the wheel, such as not wearing a seatbelt and driving while intoxicated, many still engage in other dangerous practices, according to a new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The 2011 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey finds that one in three high school students had texted or emailed while driving during the past 30 days.

"Texting or email while driving can have deadly consequences that are entirely preventable," says Howell Wechsler, the director of the CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health.  "Studies show that activities such as texting are particularly dangerous because they take the drivers attention away from driving more frequently and for longer period of times than other distractions."

Combined with their inexperience, texting puts young drivers at risk for car accidents.

"Due to their lack of experience behind the wheel, younger drivers under the age of 20 are at increased risk and at the highest proportion of distraction related fatal crashes," says Wechsler.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among American youth, according to the CDC.  They account for more than one in three teen deaths each year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun062012

Teen Found Guilty in Landmark Texting While Driving Case

ABC NEWS(BOSTON) -- Aaron Deveau, 18, who became the first driver in Massachusetts to be convicted of motor vehicle homicide by texting, has been sentenced to two years in prison and loss of his license for 15 years.

Prosecutors said Deveau, who pleaded not guilty, was texting on Feb. 20, 2011, when his vehicle swerved across the center line of a Haverhill street and crashed head on into Donald Bowley's truck, killing the 55-year-old father of three.

"My brother received such severe head trauma that ... there was no hope for him," the victim's sister Donna Burleigh testified in Haverhill District Court.

Deveau was charged with motor vehicle homicide and negligent operation of a motor vehicle, using a mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle, reading or sending an electronic message, a marked lanes violation, and two counts of negligent operation and injury from mobile phone use.

Deveau's lawyer argued that there was no evidence the crash caused Bowley's death. When Deveau testified Tuesday, he said he was distracted by the amount of homework he had to do and was not sending or reading a text message in the moments before the crash. He said he sent his last text message while parked in the parking lot of the grocery store where he worked. According to Deveau's testimony, his phone remained in the passenger's seat until after the crash, when he called his parents.

But prosecutors argued that Deveau had not been paying attention when the vehicles collided. Phone records indicated he sent a text message at 2:34 p.m. and received a response at 2:35 p.m. Police said the crash occurred at 2:36 p.m.

"The defendant sent and received 193 texts on Feb 20, 2011," a prosecutor told the court.

In a videotaped statement recorded after the crash, Deveau, then 17, had a question for police: "If anything happens to them, if one passes away, what would happen to me?"

Texting while driving is a crime in Washington, D.C., and 38 states, including Massachusetts.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun012012

Teen Faces Prison in Landmark Texting While Driving Case

ABC News(HAVERHILL, Mass.) -- Teenager Aaron Deveau insists he was not texting when his car swerved and collided head-on with an oncoming pickup truck on Feb. 20, 2011, but 18 days after the crash, the man he hit died.

Now Deveau is on trial in Haverhill, Mass. in what could be a landmark case in the controversial topic of texting while driving. Deveau now stands accused of killing 55-year-old Donald Bowley.

Prosecutors allege that Deveau, who has pleaded not guilty, was texting the day his vehicle slipped across the center line of a Haverhill street and crashed into Bowley's truck.

"My brother received such severe head trauma that he had, there was no hope for him," the victim's sister Donna Bowley told ABC News.

Deveau was charged with motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, being an operator under 18 using a mobile phone, being an operator reading or sending an electronic message, a marked lanes violation, and two counts of negligent operation and injury from mobile phone use.

Deveau's lawyer has said there is no evidence the crash caused Bowley's death, while Deveau told police he swerved to avoid a vehicle in front of him that slowed down, according to ABC News Boston affiliate WCVB.

Luz Roman, who was dating Bowley, also suffered serious injuries in the crash. When she took to the stand earlier this week, she broke down as she talked about being in the truck with Bowley that day.

"This is a miracle that I'm here," Roman told the court.

Prosecutors contend Deveau was not paying attention when the vehicles collided. Police say he received two messages: one at 2:34 p.m. and a second at 2:35 p.m., on the day of the crash. Prosecutors say the accident happened at 2:36 p.m.

"The defendant sent and received 193 texts on Feb 20, 2011," a prosecuting attorney in the case told the court.

In a videotaped statement recorded after the crash, Deveau, then 17, had a question for police: "If anything happens to them, if one passes away, what would happen to me?"

Texting while driving is a crime in Washington, D.C. and 38 states, including Massachusetts. Many advocates of bans on texting while driving want to see the number of states outlawing it expand.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
May272012

Judge Rules Woman Not Liable for Sending Boyfriend a Text While Driving

Ryan McVay/Photodisc(MORRISTOWN, N.J.) -- A New Jersey Superior Court judge ruled on Friday that a woman who sent a text message to her boyfriend while he was driving cannot be held liable for the motor vehicle accident he subsequently caused.

The decision stemmed from a 2009 case in which Kyle Best, 19, was responding to a text message from his girlfriend, Shannon Colonna, 19, while he was driving his pickup truck when he crashed into a motorcycle and severely injured David and Linda Kubert.

In an unprecedented legal twist, the Kuberts' attorney, Stephen "Skippy" Weinstein, amended the original complaint filed against Best to include Colonna as a defendant in the case, saying that she had been in frequent texting contact with Best throughout the day and ought to have known he was driving.

However, Judge David Rand ruled on Friday in Morris County Superior Court that Colonna could not be held responsible for Best's distracted driving.

"Drivers are bombarded with all forms of distractions," Rand told the courtroom. "I find that there was no aiding, abetting here in the legal sense. I find it is unreasonable to impose a duty upon the defendant in this case under these facts. Were I to extend this duty, in my judgment, any form of distraction could potentially serve as basis of a liability case."

Proceedings against Best, who pleaded guilty to distracted driving, will continue within the next few months.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May082012

Many Young Drivers Text, Talk Behind Wheel Despite Knowing Risks

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(YONKERS, N.Y.) -- Most young drivers are aware that talking or texting behind the wheel is dangerous, but that hasn't stopped many from doing it.

A new survey out Tuesday by Consumer Reports found that while 80 percent of 16- to 21-year-olds polled said texting or using apps while driving poses serious risks, almost a third -- 29 percent -- admitted to texting as they drove in the last 30 days.  Another 8 percent said they used apps while driving and 7 percent confessed to using e-mail or social media.

The magazine also found that although 60 percent of young drivers surveyed considered talking on the phone while driving to be dangerous, half of them said they did it in the last 30 days.

Despite the findings, there are some safety-minded young people on the road as Liza Barth, an associate editor for Consumers Reports, points out.

"We found that about 50 percent said that they are speaking up for their safety, if they see some of their friends using these things behind the wheel," Barth said.

What's more, "74 percent have tried to stop their behaviors and they've read about the problem; 61 percent have heard or read about the problem of distracted driving; and 40 percent said the laws have helped them reduce or stop some of the behaviors," Barth said.´╗┐

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan012011

New Laws for the New Year: 3 More States Ban Texting While Driving

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Tens of thousands of new laws go into effect Saturday in cities and states all across the country. Some of the laws have far-reaching goals, like making roads safer. Three more states – Delaware, Kansas and Kentucky – now ban text messaging while driving.

Others have more specific targets. In California, photographers now face beefed up penalties or false imprisonment for blocking cars. New laws make it more difficult to be a food cart owner in Des Moines, Iowa; they are now banned at night because of their tendency to attract crowds.

Many of the new laws deal with technology. In California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas, for example, impersonating someone through social media or email is now a crime.

In Connecticut, the fine for those pesky telemarketers who violate the “Do Not Call” registry just jumped to $11,000 per violation.

There are now stricter penalties if you’re convicted of holding a dog fight within 1,000 feet of an Illinois school, park or playground.

And don’t try subletting your New York City apartment for just a few days or weeks. A new law that takes affect in May bans renting your apartment for less than a month.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐







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