Last year, highway fatalities saw the largest annual percentage increase in half a century, nearly 18,000 traffic deaths in the first six months of 2016 – a ten percent increase over the same period last year.
Cell Phone Use While Driving Poses Risk
Experts believe that Car Wi-Fi and the plethora of apps available to drivers today are contributing to the increase in motor vehicle fatalities. Unfortunately, many drivers find social media apps such as SnapChat, Pokemon Go, FaceBook and others irresistible even while operating a motor vehicle, posing a risk to drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.
Cracking Down on Texting While Driving
States across the nation have enacted various restrictions to combat the problem of distracted driving. Fourteen states prohibit hand-held cell phone use while driving altogether. Many others prohibit texting while driving, making it a primary offense.
Iowa is among the states with the most lenient cell phone use laws. Although texting while driving is banned, it is a secondary offense making it difficult to enforce. Iowa law prohibits the use of an electronic communication device to send, receive or read a text message or email while driving, but the charge is a simple misdemeanor with a small fine that does little to deter drivers. As a consequence, distracted or inattentive driving involving a cell phone has accounted for thousands of crashes statewide in the past decade resulting in many fatalities.
Wrongful Death Accidents
Publicity surrounding recent fatal car accidents allegedly caused by distracted drivers combined with the disturbing data reflecting an upward trend in distracted driving accidents across the country, have federal agencies scrambling to find answers.
Renewed efforts are underway to identify changes in regulations, laws and standards to reduce the number of traffic fatalities. Cracking down on the use of electronic devices for texting or accessing apps while driving is a likely outcome.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Injury Lawyer
If you or a family member has been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the Des Moines Law Offices of Marc Humphrey for help. With more than 30 years of experience, our knowledgeable personal injury, wrongful death team is committed to protecting the rights of the injured. Call today at 515-331-3510.