Traffic fatalities are on the rise in the state of Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Public Radio is reporting that distracted driving is largely to blame.
In July 2017, the state saw 66 traffic-related deaths, which is three more than the same time period last year and the highest number of deaths in one month so far this year, reports the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. According to department director David Pabst, an increase in reckless drivers over the summer months tends to mean a hike in traffic deaths, despite safety improvements in cars and the state’s roads. Pabst also noted that traffic deaths have risen nationwide, spurred on by impaired drivers and the increase in distracted drivers.
Preliminary data shows that there have been 338 traffic fatalities in Wisconsin so far this year, which is up from last year. Of those deaths, more than 10 percent were motorcyclists and another 10 percent were pedestrians.
Distracted driving remains a major problem across the country. Several states have taken measures to help curb distracted driving accidents, but this is one dangerous trend that appears to be on the rise.
Texas, according to the Star Telegram, has just added another new distracted driving course for anyone who wants to get a drivers’ license. The first course, added two years ago, was required for drivers between the ages of 15 and 17. However, because adults are just as guilty of distracted driving behaviors as younger people, the state is now requiring anyone who is aged 18 or over take the new course. This new course goes live September 1, which is the same day the state’s texting and driving ban goes into effect. A third course, aimed at drivers over the age of 25, will be launched in 2018. The course will not apply to anyone who currently has a license in the state, but new drivers will be required to take it.
Meanwhile, in Connecticut, local law enforcement agencies are launching campaigns aimed at curbing distracted driving behavior. According to the Hartford Courant, police in West Hartford issued more than 300 citations for distracted driving over a two-week heightened enforcement period as part of a statewide Distracted Driving High Visibility Enforcement campaign. During another high-enforcement period from April 4 to April 30, the same department issued 715 citations, bringing the total for the year above 1,000 at that time.
While distracted driving was once associated with playing with the radio or being fatigued, today it represents a wide range of behaviors that takes someone’s attention off the roads. Driving while texting, eating, grooming or using a cellphone in any way are all examples of dangerous behaviors that could result in an accident.
Unfortunately, the fast pace of society and the influx of technology have combined to make distracted driving a true and present danger on the roads of America. If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident involving a distracted driver, speak to an experienced lawyer, like a car accident lawyer Denver CO trusts, as soon as possible about your rights.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Law Offices of Richard Banta, P.C. for their insight into auto accident cases.