September 19, 2009 – Last year in Fort Collins, 9-year old Erica Forney was riding her bicycle and was struck and killed by a driver, who police say was distracted while using a cell phone. The loss of this little girl’s life prompted the proposal and enactment of a new bill in Colorado prohibiting all drivers from texting while driving, which became effective June 1st. Not only does this bill outlaw texting for all drivers, it also prohibits use of cell phones for drivers 18 and under while driving. Additionally, drivers of any age with instruction permits are prohibited from the use of cell phones while driving.
Some say this bill isn’t enough to keep the roads of Colorado safe. In fact, the state legislature is currently reviewing a bill that, if passed, would place stricter parameters on drivers by requiring hands-free accessories for all drivers using cell phones. Furthermore, anyone 18 or under would be prohibited from using a cell phone while driving, even with the use of hands-free accessories. This bill would additionally ban cell phone use by school bus drivers and motor vehicle carriers regulated by the public utilities commission.
The use of a cell phone while driving, whether texting or talking, dramatically reduces the reaction time of drivers, yet over half of U.S. drivers admit to talking on a cell phone while driving and one in seven admit sending text messages while driving. And these numbers dramatically increase for young drivers! Almost half of drivers between 18-24 years old and over one-quarter of drivers between 25-34 years old admit text messaging while driving.
Researchers in a recent study utilized a driving simulator to compare the performance of two types of drivers: (a) drivers using cell phones; and (b) drivers not using cell phones, but intoxicated with a blood alcohol level of 0.08, the legal limit in all 50 states. Researchers concluded that drivers using a cell phone were actually more likely to cause a rear-end collision than a person driving under the influence of alcohol.
Colorado was the 14th state to join others in enacting a bill prohibiting drivers from texting. The U.S. Senate is reviewing a bill that, if passed, would take away 25% of federal highway money from states with no such bill in place.
The Law Firm of Jason Crawford has represented accident victims and their families for more than 14 years. If you or your family needs to talk to an experienced accident lawyer, please call us today at (303) 741-0249.
For more information, please visit our website www.DenversAccidentLawyer.com.