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Texting, driving and the law

In today's technologically-centered society, it is difficult to imagine life without a cell phone. Unfortunately, some Connecticut residents hold to this notion even while operating motor vehicles. Texting and driving has long been a nationwide issue, especially among young drivers. While some accidents leave drivers with nothing more than a mere dented bumper, others do not end so fortunately. Regardless of the severity of the accident, those caught using cell phones while driving could face major consequences.

In addition to cell phones, the Connecticut Post stressed last week that the technology in newer vehicles also puts drivers at risks. More specifically, the infotainment systems that many manufacturers are placing on the dashboards of new vehicles are forcing drivers to take their eyes off the roads and hands off the wheel for dangerous periods of time. A University of Utah professor, who has been examining these systems since 2013, carried out this study that confirmed that the technology boom has made driving matters worse. Along with new gadgets in the car come more complicated systems, which lead to longer periods of distraction. And although the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers claims the voice-controlled systems make driving easier, experts in traffic safety and research from the American Automobile Association state that these aspects have failed to prevent drivers from becoming distracted. 

Since 2013, Connecticut laws have banned all texting and driving in the state. The Connecticut General Assembly outlines these laws, noting that Connecticut was one of 47 states to enforce the new distracted driving regulations in recent years. However, the CGA reports obstacles to enforcing these laws; lack of funding, police officers' difficulty in determining cell phone use and lack of state-specific distracted driving research were common issues. Yet the CGA confirms that the Department of Transportation plans to adopt a more comprehensive reporting form in the future.   





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