Connecticut Men Cited More Often Than Women for Distracted Driving

Flying in the face of gender stereotypes about talkativeness, a recent review by the Associated Press revealed that men in Connecticut consistently receive more tickets for talking or texting on their cellphones than women.

Connecticut law prohibits all drivers from using hand-held cellphones or mobile electronic devices while operating a vehicle. Drivers age 18 and older are permitted to talk on cellphones with the aid of a hands-free device, while those under the age of 18 are barred from cellphone use entirely while driving.

Since the cellphone ban went into effect in 2006, between 52 and 54 percent of the distracted-driving tickets issued each year in Connecticut have gone to males. Statistically speaking, the proportion of citations issued to men in Connecticut is not surprising, vice president David Snyder of the American Insurance Association told the Daily Herald. Male drivers are generally more likely than females to engage in risky behavior, and are also more likely to die in car accidents, Snyder said.

Texting and Cellphones Pose Major Traffic Risk

As driving risks go, distracted driving - and cellphone use in particular - ranks high on the list of dangerous behaviors. According to data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 5,474 people were killed nationwide in distracted driving accidents in 2009, and approximately 448,000 others were injured.

Although any type of distraction can lead to an accident, cellphone use and texting are particularly dangerous because they occupy a driver's eyes, hands and concentration at the same time. A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers who are not distracted. In a 2010 survey by the Pew Research Center of people who use text messaging, 51 percent of men and 42 percent of women said they had sent or received text messages while driving.

Regardless of age or gender, educating drivers about the dangers of distracted driving is an important step toward preventing accidents in Connecticut and around the country. Not only do drivers put themselves at risk when they text or talk behind the wheel, but they risk the lives of those around them as well.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving distracted driving, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your options for pursuing compensation.