When we typically think of distracted driving, we immediately imagine inappropriate cell phone usage. Surprisingly though, “outside distractions” beyond cell phones caused more vehicular accidents. Distracted driving is attributed to approximately 11 percent of all crashes throughout Arizona. While most states enforce a strict ban on using a cell phone while driving, Arizona is one of five states that has not cracked down on this practice yet, meaning that only Arizona school bus drivers are banned from using their cell phones while working.
From billboards, construction sites and looking at the aftermath of accidents on the side of the road, there are a number of “outside distractions” that contribute to inattentive drivers who ultimately get into an accident. Currently, there are numerous construction zones around Phoenix, so it is essential that you always keep your eyes on the road at all times. The most common accidents occur when speeding or merging into other lanes near construction sites, most of which can be avoided if drivers did not let themselves get distracted by the work that is being done.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety has not made a direct law or revised statute that specifically targets cell phone use while driving. However, they have been recommending the use of an existing law to deter people from using them. According to the Arizona Revised Statutes, the law states that “a person shall not drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances, conditions and actual and potential hazards then existing.” Since a reasonable speed to drive while texting and not looking at the road is zero miles per hour, a police officer can pull a driver over if they see someone texting while driving on the highway.
Another common driving distraction that drivers do not tend to think about too much involves what happens inside the car. Distracted drivers that are reaching for objects, eating and/or drinking, adjusting the radio, changing a CD or doing their make-up can contribute to just as many collisions as people who are distracted by their cell phones. This is due to drivers thinking they can multitask as they drive, even though any activity that is being done behind the wheel will significantly decrease a driver’s overall reaction times.
If you were in a recent auto accident, please contact contact Skousen, Gulbrandsen and Patience to have an experienced car accident attorney represent you.
Arizona Revised Statutes. “28-701. Reasonable and prudent speed; prima facie evidence; exceptions.” 2007. Arizona State Legislature. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/28/00701.htm&Title=28&DocType=ARS.