Distracted driving laws are getting stricter in Arizona, and for good reason. Our auto repair shop wants to share some critical information with you to help keep you safer – and hopefully more aware of what other drivers could be doing on the roads, too.
What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving comes in 3 different forms:
- Cognitive or mental distraction – when a driver’s mind isn’t focused on driving.
- Visual distraction – when a driver looks at anything other than the road ahead.
- Manual distraction – when the driver takes one or both hands off the wheel for any reason.
There are “outside” and “inside the vehicle” distractions. Some of the most common “outside distractions” that cause accidents include billboards and construction sites. These result in the driver being inattentive, ultimately leading to an accident.
Common “inside the vehicle” distractions include talking on a cell phone, adjusting the radio or air conditioning, changing a CD, or applying make-up while driving. These can all contribute to an accident or collision, especially when they cause drivers to momentarily take their eyes off the road.
A lot of people think they can multitask while driving. They are taking a huge risk, however, because doing this significantly decreases the driver’s reaction time.
The distracted driving trend
Unfortunately, there was a negative trend happening in our state that demanded changes be made. Distracted driving is attributed to approximately 11% of automobile accidents that take place in Arizona. These aren’t all due to cell phone use while driving, although many tend to be.
Tougher laws on the way!
Tempe has adopted new, stricter distracted driving laws. According to one article on AZfamily.com, the Tempe City Council unanimously approved harsher laws banning drivers from handheld device use while driving. The new laws go into effect immediately, thanks to an emergency clause. That’s because it truly is an emergency.
What does this mean for drivers? Officers can stop drivers if they see them holding a mobile device, making it a first time offence. Of course, there are a few exceptions to the rule. Drivers may use a hands-free device to talk on their cell phone while driving, and they may use their phone while stopped at a red light or if they are parked on the side of the road. First responders and drivers reporting a medical emergency, safety hazard or crime will be given special consideration. There are fines involved with not complying with the new laws, so drivers should be aware of these new changes.
It’ll take some getting used to, but hopefully the new regulations will ensure our roads are safer and drivers are more attentive to the roads. Here at our trusted repair shop, we value all of our customers and hope to maintain your vehicle, rather than have to repair it due to an accident.